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Full text of "Henri: Or, the Web and Woof of Life"

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HENEI; 



THE WEB AND WOOF OF LIFE. 



BT 



WILLIAM G. CAMBRIDGE. 



"The web of oar life to a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be 
proud, if onr feolts whipped them not j and oar crimes would despair, If they were not 
cherished by our virtues."— All 's Will that Ehds Will. 



BOSTON: 

ABEL TOMPKINS AND B. B. MUSSBT & 00. 

1853. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, 

By WILLIAM O. CAMBRIDGE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Mmsirtmsetts. 



STKBKOTYFKD BY 

HOBABT * BOBBINS, 

' XVGLAHD TYPS AVD BTKRBOTYP1 FOUXDIBT, 

B08TOI. 



r fiV Jt 



>C2 



PREFACE. 



Reader, my little book is before you, and I would fain 
believe that I have not toiled in vain to make it, in some 
degree at least, interesting and worthy of your- approval. 
I am painfully conscious of its imperfections, and yet I 
venture to hope that it has some excellences which will not 
be entirely overlooked, even though you find many defects 
and blemishes. What though there are broken and mended 
threads, and parts which are rough and unfinished ; they do 
not, I trust, mar the whole fabric, although they affect its 
beauty and perfection. The mechanism of the brain is not 
always in good condition; and the rushing blood, which 
tarns the great wheel of thought, and keeps the machinery 
in motion, sometimes gets low and sluggish in its course, so 
that the woof-threads of the mind are not shot through the 
warp with the quickness and uniformity which insures 
smoothness and perfection. Again, the stream rises and 
dashes on impetuously, and the machinery is uneven in its 
movements* quick or slow ; and then threads are broken or 
but loosely drawn, and the work is not well done. K is 
Well, at such times, to shut down the gates, and let the 
inachinery rest ; but the poor artisan may not always feel at 



IV PREFACE. 

liberty to do so, even though his heart aches and his body is 
foil of pain. 

Some may inquire if the things here narrated are true, 
and the characters real. Such questions are frequently 
addressed to an author; but it is doubtful whether they 
should be, for his book may contain much truth beneath a 
" thin veil of fiction," and yet he may not choose to say so. 
Whether the personages in my book are fictitious or other- 
wise, they seem real to me. So long have I been on familiar 
terms with them, that it is difficult to persuade myself that 
they are only the shadow^ creations of the mind. 

In the construction of my work I may have used matter 
which was not my own ; but I trust my sins in this respect 
are few and far between. Fine figures and beautiful thoughts, 
which others may rightly claim, may be used unconsciously. 
The trees of light and knowledge are full of golden leaves, 
and the winds waft them to us, and, with gratitude in our 
hearts, we gather them up with care, and drink in their 
beauty ; and it would not be strange if we sometimes felt 
and used it as though it were our own. For all the materials 
I have used which belong to other authors, I offer, it being 
the very best I can do, my most unfeigned thanks. And, as 
the author of " Richard Edney " has said, " If those from 
whom I Have borrowed dislike anything of theirs in this con- 
nection, they will withdraw it ; should they chance to like 
anything of ours, they have full permission to use ifr." 

I have written this book with the very best intentions, 
hoping that it might do good, and receive a welcome in 
many homes. The character of the mother of Henri may 



PBEFAOE. V 

be considered as overdrawn and unnatural, but I know that 
it is not an impossible character. Some may wish that the 
Boenes of strife and contention had been left out. I highly 
respect the motives of such, and would have done so if I had 
deemed it consistent with my plan, "and with the characters 
described. No one disapproves of such scenes more than 
the author of this book; and if anything here described 
should lead to quarrelling and discord, it would be a source 
of lasting regret. 

I designed the work to be reformatory in its character ; 
and so I have advanced ideas which are unpopular, and by 
some considered Utopian, and by others in advance of the 
age. But it mattered not with me what others might say or 
think; for I cared more for the good that might be wrought 
than for the approving smiles of those who ever walk with 
their backs to the sun, and their faces to the past. 

So much by way of preface ; and here I will stop, for it 
is not needful that I say more. Let the book be read, and 
dealt with according to its merits. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
BOUE, . 25 

CHAPTER II. 
BS. — Ouu Family. — Disappointment, ........ 42 

CHAPTER III. 
baoon Foiled, 69 

CHAPTER IV. 

YTHE& AND DeAOOH WeBBEB, 71 

CHAPTER V. 
: Sickness. — Good News, • 79 

CHAPTER VI. 
ro kt Uncle's, •••••••95 

CHAPTER VII. 

ICTOBX, 101 

CHAPTER VIII. 
tPENDiNQ Boom, 114 



VIII C0NTENT3. 

CHAPTER IX. 
The Marriage and its Results, 120 

CHAPTER X. 
News from Home, 127 

CHAPTER XI. 
An Old Enemy, 132 

CHAPTER XII. 
Welcome Vbitors. — Mrs. Stewart's Story, 139 

CHAPTER XIII. 
„ Death of Little Katy, 153 

CHAPTER XIV. 
New Scenes and New Thoughts, 161 

CHAPTER XV. 
A Medley, 171 

CHAPTER XVI. 
The Betrothal, 178 

CHAPTER XVII. 
A Wale in the Park. — Eaves-dropping, • 191 

CHAPTER XVIII.. * 
Ernest Brown, 203 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Mr. Dinneford. — Mutual Love, . 224 



CONTENTS. ix 

CHAPTER XX. 
Death of bet Mother, 286 

CHAPTER XXI. 
The Heart Unveiled, 249 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Hopes not Realized, ....'. 276 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
Twigs Rejected, . 290 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
New Lebanon. — The Shakers, 824 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Helen Means and Myself, 853 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Wonderful Discovery, 374 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
Thb Webber Family, 892 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
My Father's Diary, . . • 101 

, CHAPTER XXIX. 
Old Acquaintance, 417 

CHAPTER XXX. 
Conclusion, . • • • • • 426 



CHAPTER I. 

THE RESCUE. 

At half past three, p. M., the School Teacher informed 
*fce that I was at liberty to return home, as my mother had 
sent a request that I might be dismissed at that time. ' I 
knew that two of my cousins were expected at our house 
that afternoon, and surmised that was the reason why my 
presence was desired. 

The weather was exceedingly beautiful, and all nature 
looked so inviting that I could not find it in my heart to 
hasten home, even though my cousins were waiting for me. 
I'rom my early childhood, I have felt such an absorbing 
kve for those beautiful creations which are so manifestly 
®°d'B, that at times it has been beyond the power of man, 
or the cares and conflicts of the world, to draw me from 
their communion, or break the spell which held me so 
lovingly in their soul-purifying embrace. 

I walked along, very leisurely, frequently stopping to 
examine the wings of a beautiful butterfly, or cull a sweet 
8 



26 THE BESCUE. 

flower growing by the wayside. And when I came to a 
dark, swiftly-running stream, I looked into a deep hole, 
and saw beautiful fish, with tints bright as gold. How 
they darted when they saw me, so quickly that those bright 
spots seemed to emit a stream of light ! 

My age was then fifteen, and it was not often that I 
enjoyed the luxury of walking home alone ; and when I 
did, I improved the time well. I examined everything 
that pleased me, and went through a course of reasoning, 
in my own mind, in relation to them. I queried if the 
butterfly was not made to teach man of a higher and bet* 
ter life than this. The worm that crawls upon the earth, 
I thought, might represent man in his present state ; the 
butterfly that floats on zephyrs with golden wings, his im- 
mortal and glorious state. The worm weaves its 6wn 
winding-sheet, and, in due time, the cerements are tMSwn 
off" or burst asunder, but the worm is not there. A bright 
and beautiful creature springs forth, sailing away as on 
the wi&g& of light. Now, its sphere may be termed spir- 
itual, for it is a renewed and higher state. It no longer 
grovels in the dust, but soars in the air like a bird, visit- 
ing, at its will, green fields and delightful gardens, and 
when weary, finding a fitting resting-place in the SQft 
bosom of a flower. 

Man's state, in some respects, is not dissimilar; too 
often vicious and degraded, he plods on his way, burdened 
with sin and disease, so that he despises himself when- 



> 



THE RESCUE. 27 

ever he looks within, and sees the dark spots upon his own 
soul. Sat the time comes when he goes through a change 
analogous to that of the worm. The body is cast off, and 
the inner life, the spirit, comes forth, clothed with glory 
aiid beauty, and, like the butterfly that shakes its bright 
wings close to the crawling worm, unperceived by it, so 
the spirits of the departed are ever near us, though we 
perceive them not. Floating on wings of ethereal bright- 
ness, they comfort with happy thoughts and bless with 
hopeful aspirations those they love. 

While such reflections were passing through my mind, 
I thought of my father, who had been dead six years, and 
of my little brother, the youngest of the family, who had 
died two years after. I wondered if they were as much 
exalted above their former sphere as the butterfly, and 
whether they were not hovering near me, their wings flash- 
ing in golden light ! When a soft breath of air fanned 
my hot cheeks, I half fancied that it was caused by the 
sweep of their beautiful wiigs. The fancy did not startle 
me in the least ; but I wisb^they might be ever near, to 
watch over, bless and guard me. 

/ 1 do not believe that the idea ©f spirits returning to 
earth, ofr hovering ever near the creatures of their love, 
is naturally frightful to children ; but it is made so by fear- 
fid stories of ghosts and goblins, some with skeleton heads, 
and others with the red blood gushing from ghastly wounds. 
These horrid creatures ever come on dark, dreary nights, 



28 THE RESCUE. 

on errands of revenge and mischief. They are represented 
as something to be dreaded, being the emissaries of hell ! 
I know not why we should so nrach fear the departed. 
Are they not better and holier than earth's children? 
The Bible tells ns that they manifested themselves in olden 
times, but ever for a good purpose. Should they visit us 
now, they would be messengers of truth and love, seeking 
the salvation and happiness* of friends dear and cherished. 
Welcome, then, to spirit messengers, if the good God sees 
fit to selid them to us ! 

I had accomplished but a part of my walk home, when 
I heard the cry of a child, which seemed like the voice 
of a young girl, in distress. It came from a field near 
by. I quickly mounted the wall, and saw a boy, some 
two years my senior, holding in his arms a little girl, who 
was struggling for release. He covered her mouth with 
one of his hands to stop her screams. I made all haste 
to learn the cause of these proceedings. When he saw 
me, he quickly let her go. I perceived that she was 
greatly frightened, for she trembled violently. 

" What does this mean ? " I inquired. 

" None of your business, sir." 

" Then I will make it my business," I answered, some- 
what sharply. 

" You will, hey ? Start yourself sir ! — make tracks, 
or I will break every bone in your body ! " 



THE RESCUE. 29 

*, " Don't be in such a hurry ! I have but just come, and 
shall not leave till I please." 

" Yes, you will, or get an almighty thrashing, — one of 
the six ! " 

"Icare but little for your threats; so do not think to 



" Well, don't meddle with my affairs, and there will be 
do trouble. Go about your business ! " 

" And leave this poor thing in your hands ? " 

" If you please, sir. An't she a beauty ? I 'm in love 
with her. Just see how clean and nice she is ! " 

I looked at her, and saw that she was dirty and ragged, 
—fearfully so. " Who is she 1 " I inquired. 

" She is Deacon Webber's drudge. The old Pharisee 
hp given her his robe of righteousness to clothe her with." 
* "But why do you abuse her, — why detain her against 
: W will?" . ; 

" That is my business, and don't you interfere ! If you 
do, I'll thrast you till you can't stand." The sweet blue 
e jes of the poor child were now fixed upon me, implor- 
ing my assistance. 

"Don't you meddle with her again ! " I said, giving 
torn a look of defiance. 

"I was always famous for obeying my superiors," he 
replied, contemptuously, at the same time taking hold of 
for hands, and pulling her along in the direction of the 
Woods. 

3* 



80 THE BBSCUB. 

" Let her go," said I, " or, by heaven, I '11 make yoa 
sorry!" 

" What a brave little man ! Talk away, but this beauty 
must go with me. Come along, Sukey ; I will not hurt 
you." Singing, " Come, Sukey, you must go with me." 

My blood boiled now, and, leaping upon him, I caught 
him by the hair of his head, and laid him upon his back. 
He sprung up in a moment, and, with a well-directed blow, 
knocked me down and jumped upon me, beating me in the 
face until I was covered with blood. I fought with all 
the strength I had ; but he was too much for me. He 
might have killed me on the spot, if the girl had not 
picked up a stone and given him a blow upon the head, 
which made him roar with pain. Another blow from the 
same weapon, in concert with a well-directed blow from 
my fist, laid him senseless. Taking her hand Jn one of 
mine, and her basket of dandelions in the other, I led her 
from the spot. 

On our way home, I learned that the name of the one 
I had rescued was Helen Means. It was true, as that 
young rascal had said, she lived with Deacon Webber. 
Good Heavens ! how my heart swelled within me as I 
looked at her clothes, if such tfcey might be called, more 
attentively. I had never seen a child clad so meanly. A 
mere batch of dirty rags hung upon her fragile form, and 
upon her head was an old straw bonnet, full of holes, 



THE RESCUE. 81 

which peeped her auburn hair, beautiful aid 

jr, even though no care was taken of it 
Had I lived in a city, I might have seen ohdldreti dad 
even more meanly, if it were possible, than Helen Means; 
bat then I had never visited the city. In oar beautiful 
country town there were but few poor people. I have 
since seen enough to make my heart sick, and to convince 
me that there must be something radically wrong in society. 
What more sorrowful sight than to see little children, all 
ragged and filthy, with faces looking old and sad, search- 
ing the gutters for orange-peel and apples half decayed, 
eating them when found with a ravenous appetite? I 
can conceive of a state of society so true and divine that 
such things could not be ; where children would be ever 
cared for, fed, clothed and educated, even if their parents 
should forsake them entirely. A state of society where 
there should be " Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity; " 
where the good, the welfare of one should be the welfare 
of all, and where one could not be left to suffer without 
causing all the rest to suffer with it. 

In my holiest moments, I look through the dim vista 
before me, and behold harmonial unions springing up all 
over the world; from year to year the work goes on, 
until all men are gathered into the great fold of love and 
truth, dwelling together in peace, a divine order of 
society, where antagonisms, and wrongs, and slaveries, 
can never enter. The reader may smile at this, and per* 



82 THE RESCUE. 

chance silence the author by merely whispering the word 
Utopia. 

As I looked at this poor girl, I thought to myself, " Can 
it be possible she lives with a pious deacon, one who is a 
burning and shining light in the church? No one 
exhorts the people to repent more constantly than he; 
no one warns them more frequently — not' even the 
minister — of the danger to which the sinner is exposed, 
— the awful danger of unrepented wrong." With these 
reflections, I thought religion must be a great force or *> 
tragedy, and perhaps both. How often had my mother 
spoken of the pious deacon, as worthy of all imitation ! 
She spoke of the money he gave to send the gospel to 
the heathen ; and how he prayed twice every day with his 
family ; while he was a terrible enemy of all evil-doers- 
He was truly one of the great pillars in the church, — 
at least, in her estimation. I asked Helen a number of 
questions, which she answered in such a plain, artless 
manner, as to win my admiration, as repulsive as was her 
appearance, to a mind closely allied to the bright and 
beautiful. 

" Let us go to the brook and wash the blood off your 
face," said she, as we left our fallen foe. " I fear you 
are very much hurt. I am sorry you got hurt so much 
on my account." 

" I am not sorry in the least," I replied, "as I was 
instrumental in delivering you from the hands of that 



THE RESCtHB. 88 

vile boy. But, let as not stop at this brook, for he may 
recover and attack us again." 

" I think we could master him, if he should. But 
there is another brook on beyond, and you can wash your 
fcce there." 

" How long have you lived with' Deacon Webber ? " I 
inquired. 
"Six months, next Saturday." 
" Where did you live before ? " 
11 At home, in the city of Boston." 
" Do you like to live with Deacon Webber ? " 
" Should you think so, by my looks ? " she said, with 
* Bad voice. 

" I should think you would hate him, and all the family. 
I would not stay there one day, if I were you, to bfe kept 
so ragged and filthy." 

"I cannot help it. I have nowhere else to go! 
Boston is fifty miles from here, and my parents don't 
know but that I am used well ! " 
" Why don't you write and tell them 7 " 
"I never learned to write much; besides, I have no 
pens, ink and paper. If I should write, my parents are 
so poor they could not come after me." 

" Poor girl ! But don't you despise the deacon, and 
all that belongs to him ? " 

" I do sometimeSj for I cannot help it when he beats 
me so ; and then I think it may be wrong to hate and 



84 THE EESCTJB. 

despise anybody. I fear I have hurt that boy very badly, 
but I could not help it. Had we not better return and 
see to him ? I am afraid he will die ! " 

" He is an ugly fellow, and I have not the courage to 
go near him again; — he might kill us both. There he is, 
coming now; let us run. Hark ! he is threatening ven- 
geance." 

Just then a large team came in sight, and we felt no 
longer afraid. When our enemy saw that aid was near, 
he hesitated a moment, then turned and fled towards the 
woods. At a little singing brooklet the blood was soon, 
washed from my face and hands. 

" You are hurt badly," she exclaimed, — " very badly. 
What'a brute that boy is ! I believe he had just as lief 
killed you as not." 

" Never mind, Helen, I shall get over it; though my 
head is very painful, and I have a severe pain in my side, 
where he kicked me." 

" You look very pale. I think you must be faint. 
Lie down upon the grass, and I will bathe your head with 
water." 

I was very faint indeed, and so I laid down upon the 
soft grass, while she brought water in her hands and 
bathed my burning temples. I was delighted with the 
gentle and affectionate manner in which she performed 
the part of a nurse, and felt more* indignant with the 
deacon, who treated her so shamefully. When I had 



THE RESCUE. 85 

sufficiently recovered, we resumed our walk and conversa- 
tion. 
" Did you say that the deacon is in the habit of beat- 

tog you?" 

" Yes, he beats me every day, and his children knock 
me about when they please." 
"What do they treat you so for ?" 
" They accuse me of lying, and say that I am a thief. 
If any sugar, pie or cake, is missing, it is laid to me; and 
if I deny it, I am accused of falsehood. I have never 
taken anything but once, and then I was so hungry that 
I conld not help it. I took a quarter of a pie, and ate it ; 
and I believe that I should have done so, if I had known 
they would have killed me." 

" What miserable wretches they are ! I shall never 
take any more comfort while you stay there. I will 
write and inform your parents." 

" It will do no good, they are so poor. Father is in- 
temperate, and does nothing for the family. Mother 
provides everything by taking in washing." 
" How many brothers and sisters have you 1 " 
" Five. All younger than I am, but one. Caroline 
is twelve, and two years older than I am." 

" Your mother ought to know of this ; it is a burning 
shame. Do they give you a good bed to sleep on ? " 
" They let me have a pretty good one, at first, but now 



86 SHU RESCUE. 

I Bleep en some rags in tie attic. I never take off my 
clothes when I lie down." 

"Is it possible? Do you ever go to school ?" 

" I went some when I was in Boston, but now I do 
not go at all. Mr. Webber says that poor children do 
not need learning, and so he keeps all the books and 
papers out of my reach. One day I looked into a book, 
and he punished me for it If I could get books, I would I 
read, if he did beat me." 

" Don't your parents wish you sent to school ? " 

" Yes, and the deacon promised that I should go four 
months every year." 

" How long are you to stay there ? " 

" Until I am eighteen, if I live so long." 

" You will not stay one year, if I can prevent it. 
Seven long years to be abused by a soulless pack of 
wretches ! No, you shall be removed by some means. 
I wish my father was alive; the work would be done 
qaick, and it shall be done now ! " 

•" ! if you can help me get away from them, and 
find me a good place to live, I shall be bo grateful, and 
I know God will bless you." 

" I will see what can be done. Don't despair, and all 
will work right. You must not tell a single person of 
our intentions." 

" And do you think that you can get me away ? " 

"Itrifl; if I live." 



fl 



THE RESCUE. 87 

We had now arrived at the place where we must sepa- 
rate. I stood and watched her until I saw her enter th,e 
louse of Deacon Webber ; I then walked slowly home. 
When I entered the door, my mother met me in the 
entry, and seeing that I was injured, she exclaimed, 

"What have you been doing, Henri? Fighting, 
wicked boy ! Have you so soon forgotten what Deacon 
Webber said to the children, last Sunday, about quarrel- 
ling?" 

" Don't say anything about that old villain ! I can't 
bpar the sound of his name ! " 

She seemed astonished, and she said, " Why do you 
speak so of Deacon Webber ? What can you mean 1 " 

" I meant what I said, mother. He is the greatest 
rascal in the whole town, and cruel as the grave ! " 

"I am astounded, Henri, to hear you," she said. 
"Are you crazy? Deacon Webber is as holy as the 
ministers of the gospel I " 

" Then the ministers ought to be hanged ! " I replied, 
quietly. 

" What vile and insolent talk ! So young, and yet so 
wicked and heaven-daring ; — * how like his father ! " 

" Do not speak evil of my father; for I know that he 
was a good man, and he is now among the blest ; and 
sometimes I fancy that his beautiful spirit, with white 
wings, is flitting near me." We had now entered the sit- 
tjng-rooin, and my mother had taken her accustomed seat. 
4 



88 THE RESCUE. 

" For mercy's sake, Henri, do not speak in that way ! 
Your father cherished a fatal error, and there is little 
hope for him, for he held on to it unto the last.. You 
were too young then to understand the fearful nature of 
such things ; but you are old enough now. Deacon Web- 
ber has often alluded to your father, and warned others, 
lest they too should turn their eyes from the light, and 
imbibe an error so false and pernicious. Have you never 
heard him?" 

"No, mother, and it is well I have not; for I would 
have told him to his face that he was a base slanderer ; 
for I know that my father is one of the brightest spirits 
that ever was crowned with life eternal." 

" You shall not talk in that way, Henri, for I cannot 
hear it; 'tis too awful." 

" Don't be afraid of the truth, for it will not barm 
you, mother. And as to Deacon Webber, I despise him, 
the wretch ! A pretty man he is to warn others, — he 
had better begin at home ! Look at Helen Means, his 
little servant, — treated in the most shameful manner, 
clothed in rags and filth, half fed, sleeping in the attic 
alone on a pile of dirty rags; whipped and knocked about 
every day ; never allowed to read, study or go to school ! " 

"Who told you this?" 

" She told me, herself. As I was coming from school, 
I heard a cry of distress. I hastened to learn the cause. 
It proved to be Helen Means; and a great boy was 



THE RESCUE. 39 

abasing her, and he seemed to think that he had a perfect 

fight to, as she was clothed with what he called Deacon 
Webber's righteousness.' ' 

" What did he mean by talking in that way 1 " 

" The miserable rags which he gives her to wear, in- 
stead of decent clothes. I suppose you understand that 7 " 

"What depravity!" 

" Never mind the depravity, but hear the rest of my 
story. The boy would not let the girl alone, and I fought 
with him. He would have killed me, I fear, if it had not 
been for her ; for she hit his head with a stone, and knocked 
him senseless. We walked home together, and she told 
me how the deacon and the whole family abused her." 

" A nice business to be engaged in, truly ! — two boys 
and a girl fighting ! Your cousins have been here to see 
yon, and have gone home. Deacon Webber came to me 
to have a talk about that child ; and after he had told me 
how wicked she was, I advised the present course of treat- 
ment, that she might be saved as by fire." 

" Ton did, mother ? " I said, springing out of my chair. 
" Ton advised such treatment as she receives ? Who- 
ever advises or justifies such treatment as that is an 
unfeeling monster ! " 

After I had uttered these words, I thought they were 
very severe, spoken to a parent, and hardly justifiable ; 
but I was not sorry, for I felt that any being who would 
counsel such wicked abuse of a little child was a wretch, 



40 THE RESCUE. 

and though the guilty one held the endearing relation of 
mother' it did not alter the feet. Shame upon those who 
neglect and trample upon poor and orphan children ! If 
those who have the care of them abuse and neglect them, 
others will ask no better license. 

My mother was very much startled and surprised at 
my language and manner. She gave ine a violent push 
with her hand, which sent me to the floor, and strik- 
ing my head, the blood streamed forth anew. I was 
weak from the loss of it, or I should not have fallen. 

" I will teach you," she said, " to talk in that way to 
your mother ! What do you think of yourself, you wicked 
boy ? ' ' She mm stopped and regarded me with a strange, 
unearthly look, as I stood before her, the blood running 
down my face. 

After a few minutes I replied, in great bitterness* 
" You call me wicked ; and it would be strange if I were 
not, when my own mother counsels the most savage abuse 
ofa little child." 

" Keep your insolent tongue still, or I will chastise 
you severely ! " 

" I care not if you do, but I will speak ! I will write 
to Helen Means' parents, and tell them how Deacon 
Webber abuses her ; and I will tell everybody else that 
you advised it." 

I had never talked in this manner before, and I coiild 
not then, if I had not been in the highest state of excite- 



THE RESCUE. 41 

ment For more than one reason, I had but little filial 
affection for mother ; and when she spoke so complimentary 
of the deacon, and s6 unkindly of my father, and then 
confessed her participation in the wrongs of that poor 
child, my whole nature was aroused with indignation. I 
was feint when I entered the house, and it was only the 
intense excitement which kept me up. At the close of 
my last speech I feinted, and knew no more until I found 
myself lying in my own bed. 
4* 



CHAPTER II. 

SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

When I opened my eyes, my sister Jane sat near flic. 

" How do you feel now, Henri ? " she said. 

" My head is painful, and everything seems strange- 
How came I here?" 

"You fainted, and Thomas and I brought you here.'' 

" Did I ? 0, yes, I remember that I was faint, anc 
I feel weak and faint now." 

" You will soon be better, I hope j so keep very quiet/ ' 

It was soon night, and I tried in vain to compose 
myself to sleep. Strange feelings, and sensations of e 
frightful character, came crowding upon me, until my 
poor brain was half crazed. By and by, whole troops of 
the strangest and most ghastly looking creatures that ever 
mortal beheld stood all around my bed and hovered over 
me, and placed their sunken faces close to mine, and 
looked at me with their hollow eyes. At first I saw 
them when I became drowsy and shut my eyes ; and when 
I resolved that I would keep my eyes open, they soon 
marshalled their forces as before, and then they came in 
such numbers that I wondered how so many could get 



SICKNESS.— OUB FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 43 

into the room, and why they should go through such 
strange and antic evolutions. Sometimes I -would fall 
partly asleep, and a hideous being would come close to 
me, and I would awake with a start ; and just as I opened 
toy eyes, this hideoas-looking object would take the form 
and &ce of the boy from whom I rescued Helen, and, 
with his eyes fixed upon mine, he would move swiftly 
backward, until he receded from my sight. Again, the 
object of terror resembled Deacon Webber, and at the 
flame time it resembled my mother ; and the pale face of 
Helen Means was looking tearfully into mine. At times 
I screamed out in the agony of fear and terror, and the 
creatures would vanish away, but only to return in greater 
numbers and more horrible shapes. At last I lost all 
consciousness, and when I regained it the pain in my 
bead was mostly gone, the strange sensations had taken 
their departure, and with them the ghastly crowd. I 
perceived that it was night, for a light was burning in 
toy room. I was alone, but in a moment Jane came in, 
and I thought she had watched with me, and that it must 
be near morning. 

When I attempted to move, I found that I was almost 
entirely helpless. 

"What time is it ? " I inquired, in a feeble voice. 

"Half-past ten," she answered. 

"So early ! Why, I thought it almost morning." 

" Do you feel better now 1 " 



44 SICKNESS. — OUB FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 

11 Yes, only I am so weak. What makes me so weakf 

" Youiave been very sick." 

" I know it, bat how could I get so helpless in a few 
hoars?" 

" Why, you poor child ! you have been sick three 
weeks." 

"Three weeks!" 

" Yes ; and very sick, too 

" How strange ! " 

" You have not had your senses since the evening you 
were taken sick, and we were fearful you would never 
have them again. But you must not talk more now. 
Here is some medicine which the doctor left for you to 
take as soon as you regained your senses ; and he said he 
thought you would, during the night. There, go to sleep 
now, and to-morrow you will be able to talk longer, I 



I soon fell into a refreshing slumber, and I was not again 
conscious until morning, though I was told that I took 
medicine, talked, and opened my eyes two or three times. 
During the day I grew better and stronger, and the events 
which transpired on the day I was taken ill came back to 
me, causing very sad feelings. What would poor Helen 
think — that I had forgotten the forsaken child ? I did 
not mean that she should have staid there another week. 
But sickness had defeated my hastily formed plans. 

During the weeks that I was confined to the house, 



SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 45 

ate I began to grow better, my toother visited me fre- 
quently ; but we were both cold and distant, and I was 
ahfays glad when she took her departure, for I kept 
thinking of Helen. I prayed for strength ; for I wanted 
to take her out of the hands of Deacon Webber. 

How ardently I longed to see her once more, and tell 
her that I had not forgotten my promise, and as soon as I 
was well I would have her removed to a good home, where 
rite should always be very happy, and where I would 
dome to see her sometimes, and ask her how she liked, 
and if she was contented, and whether she was not very 
glad that she had escaped from Deacon Webber so nicely, 
to liV6 in such a pleasant, quiet home. All this, and 
much more, I thought over a thousand times, during those 
helpless days. A nuinber of fine things I would say to 
her, to cheer her up and make her smile with bright 
hopG ; — very wise things, no doubt, but, alas ! like the 
beautifully formed speeches of a lover, they were never 
spoken. In three weeks from the time I regained my 
senses, I was able to leave my room, and soon after I 
was gratified with an interview with Helen. 

One delightful morning I walked in the direction of 
the forage-ground owned by Deacon Webber, as I had 
learned that Helen drove the cattle to pasture every 
morning. I hoped that I might be so fortunate as to 
meet her on the way, that we might form a plan for her 



46 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

escape. I was not disappointed, for I soon saw her com- 
ing towards me. 

When we met, I took her hand, and asked if she was 
well. What a look of sorrow and grief she gave me, in 
reply ! There was no necessity for her to speak, — to say 
to me that the greatest indignities and wrongs were daily 
heaped upon her, — for I could read in her face a world 
of meaning. Her eyes were like a book of sorrows, — every 
page blotted with tears ! I saw that she was thinner 
and paler, and, if possible, she had a more weary and for- 
saken look. The poor girl tried to speak; but could not, 
but commenced crying bitterly. The sight of her and 
her distress made me wish that I had Deacon Webber in 
my power. I just then thought that I should like to tor- 
ture him until I wrung agony and bitter repentance from 
his hard and wicked heart. 

" You look wretched and sickly," I remarked. "Have 
you been sick?" 

Half choking with grief, she answered, " I am sick of 
such a weary, cruel life." 

"Poor child! Then they continue their savage abuse?" 

" 0, yes, and worse than ever ! " 

" Is it possible ? What can the wretches mean ? " 

" I know not; fori do as well as I can. I would work 
every day, and never complain, if they would only leave 
off whipping and starving me. The deacon learned by 
some means that I had told you how badly I was treated. 



SICKNESS. — OUB FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 47 

He was awful angry when he came home; and he dragged 
me into the cellar, and stripped off my clothes, and whipped 
me until I could not stand." 

" 'I will teach you,' said he, l to go tattling and lying 
to bad boys ! I understand your case, and know how to 
make the application; and I think, Miss, that I shall 
effect a cure. Say another word about me or your treat- 
ment, and I will whip you worse next time, you lying 
wench ! Sneaking round after bad boys, are you ? ' And 
then he struck me with his hand on the side of my head 
so hard that I was almost stunned. 

" When he had done whipping me, he washed off the 
blood, and then put on my clothes and carried me into the 
garret, and left me there until the next day, before I had 
anything to eat. O ! how I suffered that night f I 
prayed to God that I might die,-^that he would take me 
home to heaven, that I might be delivered from that 
awful, cruel man. As we were going up stairs, we met 
Mrs. Webber, and I noticed that she was weeping, but I 
don't know what for. 

"Since my severe whipping, the deacon tells everybody 
who comes into the house what a vile creature I am. If 
he should see you, he would make you hate me." 

"No! no! By heaven, he would not!" I said, trem- 
bling with excitement and indignation. "Pardon me, 
Helen, for I h&ve been the indirect cause of this outrage. 



48 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

I told mother, and she must have informed the deacon, 
for I have not mentioned it to any one else. Shame upon 
her!" 

" What ! your mother ! But do not speak harshly of 
her, for the deacon has' lied to her, no doubt, and made 
her think that I am very wicked. What makes you look 
so pale and feeble and poor ? Have you been sick? " 

"Yes; very sick, or you should have escaped before 
this. But cheer up, Helen, for deliverance shall come." 

11 Ho you think so?" 

" I know so ; and it will come, soon, too." 

" I believe you; so I will try and be patient until I am 
free. When shall I see you again ? " 

" In a few days, at this very place. But we must not 
be seen together, or our plans will be defeated. We will 
part now ; so good-by^Helen," 

" Good-by," she said ; and, with hope beaming on her 
pale face, she walked hurriedly away. 

The reader may have queried, ere this, why there should 
be so much bitterness between my mother and me. The 
truth is, though I did not know why then, I had never 
been a favorite child with her ; but I knew that I was 
dearly loved by my father. The words of a modern song, 
although they place the mother in a somewhat unnatural 
position, yet they are true of some mothers ; but I am 
happy to say they are the exceptions. I know they were 
true of mine. 



SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 49 

" I never was a favorite ; 
My mother never smiled 
On me with half the tenderness 
/that blessed her fairer child." 

/; 

"Can a. toother forget her sucking child? Yea, she 
may forget." ♦ ' More than once did I, in my younger 
days, read Byron's "Deformed Transformed," and fancy 
that my cas£ was in some respects like his ; and I wished 
for that wonderful poet's genius, that I might paint a 
picture mow strange and startling than his. 

It is trij4 perchance, that it was my own fault, in a 
measure, tnat I was not more beloved by my mother and 
brothers an<J sisters ; for, with the exception of little Her- 
bert, to whom I alluded in the first chapter, there was 
in my early days but little love for me. Herbert's love 
for father and me was most intense. I well knew that he 
loved his mother, and all his brothers and sisters ; but it 
was with an affection less deep and absorbing ; and after 
his death I was deeply afflicted, for I felt so lonely. My 
dearest treasures were in the grave, — my father and dar- 
ling Herbert. The passionate, headstrong boy often bent 
over their graves, and gave vent to his agony in burning 
tears. 

At the time my story commences, I had two brothers 

and three sisters, — Thomas, Jane, Lizzy, George and 

Charlotte. Thomas, Jane and Lizzy, were older than I; 

and George and Charlotte, younger. A woman by the 

5 



50 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

name of Stewart lived with us r and had done so for a 
number of years. She was a widow, and, though one of 
the excellent of the earth, at times very sad, when she 
would talk of her husband, and her darling lost Lelia, 
her only child, and, as she frequently said, her angel child, 
for she was in heaven, with her dear father. 

My father was one of the best men who ever Eved ; 
so it seems to me, from what I recollect of him. O ! how 
much he loved me! But, although so good, I was 
well aware, after I had come to years of discretion, that 
mother had but little affection for him. He left us in good 
circumstances ; for he owned an extensive, well-cultivated 
farm, and had some ten thousand dollars at interest. We 
chose for our guardian a man by the name of Edgarton, 
— a jolly, good-hearted, fat old former, who lived near by. 
His early education had been somewhat neglected, but we 
selected him because we knew that he loved justice and 
peace. The buildings on the form, at this time, were 
mostly new, and so arranged as to form a fine country- 
seat. The house was elegant for the country, and em- 
bowered with trees. The school which we attended was 
about a mile from our home, and in the summer time a 
most delightful walk. On every hand were highly culti- 
vated farms, fine orchards and lovely groves, with here 
and there a babbling, singing brook. Par away were hills 
and valleys covered with trees, which looked glorious to 



SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 51 

me, as they waved their proud heads, green with leaves 

and golden with sunlight ! 
My lather had but one brother living, and his residence 

Yras in a neighboring town. I had seen him enough 
to know that he was a very excellent man ; and, as I 
thought, very much like my father. After giving the 
subject due consideration, I resolved to write to him, and 
ask his aid ; which, I felt, would be cheerfully given. In 
accordance with this resolution, I penned him the follow- 
ing note : 

" Dear Uncle : I want your counsel and assistance. 
" A poor girl, eleven years old, is living with a most 
" unmerciful tyrant. She is starved, beaten, and clothed 
" with rags ; kept from school, and shut out from every 
" privilege. My heart aches for her, she is such a good 
" child. I wish you would come and carry her home. 
" I will have her dressed in a suit of my cast-off clothes, 
" which are too small for me. Thus dressed, she will 
" pass for a boy. Appoint your time and place, and she 
" shall be ready. Yours, &c, 

"Henri Eaton." 

In three days I received the following letter in reply : 

" My Dear Nephew : I was somewhat surprised at 
" the contents of your note, but am highly pleased with 



52 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

" the idea of rescuing the little girl. You must proceed 
" very cautiously, or it will prove a failure. I will meet 
tl you in the woods to-morrow evening, this side of the 
" village, near the Cold Spring. If you can so manage as 
" to have her there, dressed like a boy, all will be well. 
" Proceed with due caution, and tell the little girl not to 
" breathe a word to any one. 

" Thy affectionate uncle, 

"Thomas Eaton." 

I was overjoyed when I read this note. The next 
morning I saw Helen a few minutes, and told her our 
plans. I pointed out the spot where, she would find the 
clothes, and directed her, after she had put them on, to 
conceal herself near by until I came for her. With a 
beating heart I saw her pass by, when nearly sunset, 
going in the direction of Deacon Webber's pasture. I 
watched her until she went to the gate where the cattle 
were let in and out, and after opening it she passed on 
toward the woods. I followed her soon after, and found 
her dressed as directed. She made a very pretty boy ? 
looking better than I had ever seen her before. We 
passed through the woods, then across a large field, and 
came to the Cold Spring, where we were to m£et my 
uncle. We waited until dark, but he did not come. 

The reader will surmise what my feelings were when 
the truth forced itself upon me that, from some eause, my 



SICKNESS. — OCR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 58 

uncle was prevented from fulfilling his promise. What 
should be done now ? As to Helen's returning to Deacon 
Webber's, that was not to be thought of for a moment ; 
&r, as she had not driven up the cowb in due season, 
she would be most cruelly whipped. She trembled like 
a leaf, and began to sob as though her heart would break. 
A few moments before so hopeful, — now how changed ! 

" What shall I do now? " she exclaimed. " I cannot 
return to the deacon's; he would kill me. I would 
rather die here." 

"It is strange that uncle does not come," said I; 
"but do not despair; he may come yet — it is not late. 
Some accident may have detained him. We will wait 
a while longer." 

We sat down in sadness, scarcely venturing to speak a 
word aloud, and anxiously waited his coming, but waited 
in vain. We then went, at my suggestion, and got her 
old clothes and carried them some distance into the 
woods, and threw them into a hole, which was made when 
a large tree was overturned by the wind, and covered 
them up with pieces of wood and stumps, and whatever 
we could conveniently lay hold of. We did this because 
I suggested that she might have to stay in town a num- 
ber of days ; and, if her clothes were found, the attention 
of the people would the more readily be turned to the 
strange boy, and perchance lead to detection. After we 
had taken this precaution, wo returned to the Spring ; but, 
5* 



M SIOOTBS.— OtfB FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 

M tre found no one thete, *e immediately formed oat 
plans for the night. I knew that I must go home with- 
out delay, or I should be suspected at once. Bat Helen 
must not be left in the woods alone. After much per- 
suasion, she consented to come te the house and knock, 
and request a night's lodging, which she would most 
likely obtain, for I would ask Mrs* Stewart to intercede 
for her, if it was necessary. 

Avoiding the road and Walking fast, we soon reached 
the orchard adjoining the buildings. Helen was to 
wait there until I learned that it would be safe for her to 
come to the house. We were afraid that Deacon Web- 
ber was there, or had been there, in search of the run- 
away. If I did not return soon, she would know that the 
way was clear. 

Mrs. Stewart sat in the kitchen, sewing, when I went 
in ; and merely remarked that she missed me at tea, but, 
if I had not been to supper, she would get me some. 

Nearly an hour elapsed before I heard anything of the 
fugitive. I was thankful when a faint rapping was heard 
at the door. Mrs. Stewart arose and opened it. 

" Will you let me stay here to-night? I am a poor, 
little boy, with no home to go to," said a soft, trembling 
voice. 

Mrs. Stewart had a heart brim-full of kindness, and 
she said, " Come in, dear, and I will see. I guess 



SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 55 

we can keep you, my little wanderer." v Helen obeyed, 
Ming very much frightened. 

"Don't tremble, poor boy ! Nobody Bhall hurt you, 
lete," said Mrs. Stewart. " What is your name ? " 

"Edward Bailey," was the answer, — the name I had 



"Well, Edward, have you got lost, and so want to 
. Bhy here to-night?" 

"No, ma'am ; I have no home anywhere." 
*" That is strange. Are you telling the truth ? " 

"Yes, ma'am." 

" But how does it hapjsen that a little boy like you 
should be seeking a place to lodge, at this time ? Have 
you run away?" 

"Yes, ma'am." 

" What did you run away for ? " 

" Because I was not well used." 

"I should judge so, by your appearance. You are 
pale and poor. How strange that people will abuse such 
little children ! . How old are you, my poor little 
fellow?" 

" Eleven, last month." 

" You do not look to be more than eight. You are 
very small of your age. In what part of the country 
did you live, and what was your master's name ? " 

"I don't want to tell." 

" Well, no matter. You are afraid that I should 



56 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILY. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

betray you ; bat I would not, for the world. My religion 
teaches me to 'hide the outcast,' and shelter the fugitive, 
whether white or black. Deacon Webber says that we 
cannot fulfil our moral and constitutional obligations, 
unless we deliver the fugitive to his master. A pretty 
Christian he is, to talk in that way ! Simple humanity 
teaches a holier doctrine. Man is greater than all the 
constitutions in the world ; and, when he is wronged, the 
true Christian will help him, if he can. Have you been 
to supper, Edward ? " 

" No, thank you ; but I do not wish for any supper." 

" You should not say that you do not want any sup- 
per ; for you do, and you shall have a good warm one,." 
approaching her, and taking off the cap. "You look 
hungry and faint, and I am sure you are. I think Heari 
has not had anything to eat to-night ; and so you shall 
sup together." 

Helen looked up, with a .grateful smile. As soon as 
Mrs. Stewart caught her eyes, she gave a sudden start, 
which frightened us both very much for a moment. We 
were fearful that she had seen Helen, and now recog- 
nized her. But we soon learned that there was no cause 
for alarm. 

" Just such eyes ! " she said, fixing a searching look 
upon Helen. 

" To whom do you refer ? " I inquired. 

" To one who died some years since. This boy re- 



SICKNESS. — OUB FAMILY.— DISAPPOINTMENT. 57 

minds me of her very much. He has eyes of the same 
color and expression, — only they are sadder, and I think 
his hair must have been of the same color when no 
older," smoothing it with her hand. " How barbarously 
they have cut it, shearing it close to your head ! " The 
deacon had cut it off, as a punishment for the information 
she had given me. The simple truth, to him, was wicked 
lying. 

"If you were my boy," Mrs. Stewart continued, "I 
should let it grow long, and hang in beautiful ringlets all 
round your neck." 

Sapper was soon ready, and I relished it better than I 
had a meal of victuals since my sickness. I was so 
happy in seeing Helen partaking of good substantial food, 
offerhich there was an abundance before her, instead of 
the miserable slops which the deacon gave her, that it 
revived my appetite. Mrs. Stewart said that the boy 
Blight stay over night, although Mrs. Eaton was absent. 
I was thankful to hear that mother was away. " Where 
is she?" I inquired. 

" Gone to your uncle's, in ." 

I was surprised. Here, then, was the secret explained. 
I felt greatly relieved. 

" When did she go ?" I asked. 

"At three o'clock, taking your brothers and sisters 
with her. They are to stay until the painting is done." 

"I feel rather slighted." 



58 SICKNESS. — OUR FAMILT. — DISAPPOINTMENT. 

" You have reason to feel slighted, Henri. Bat it is 
all for the best. I have been informed that you talked 
very saucy to your mother, previous to your sickness, 
which she has never forgiven. She thinks you are a 
very wicked boy. I cannot think you intentionally bad, 
though you have a quick temper. Children should never 
be saucy to their parents." 

"I had good cause for what I said and did ; but let 
that pass. I am heartily glad that she saw fit to leave 
me at home ; for I shall be happier here. At some future 
time I shall pay uncle a visit, and I prefer to go alone." 



CHAPTER III. 

THE DEACON FOILED. 

On the day ensuing, I received another letter from my 
uncle, which ran as follows : 

"My Dear Henri : I hope you were not much disap- 
" pointed, last evening; for you must have known that it 
" would be impracticable for me to come after the girl while 
"jour mother was here. I was nearly ready to start when 
"her carriage drove up to the door. She does not speak 
"so complimentary of you as I could wish. I know not 
"what to think. She says that you are very saucy and 
"disobedient, and too intimate for your own good with a 
" bad child, — a girl living with Deacon Webber, whom the 
"good man has great difficulty in managing at all. The 
"deacon has informed her that the girl is a liar and thief, 
"and, although only eleven years old, ' prone to evil as the 
"sparks fly upward.' I hope, Henri, these things are not 
"bo; for I have always loved you, you seemed so much 
"like your lamented father. I hope your mother is mis- 
" taken, and, I would fain believe, honestly so. She may 



60 THE DEACON FOILED. 

" have too much faith in Deacon Webber, and you may 
" have said what a child should not say to a parent 
" People capable of cherishing such strong resentment as 
" your mother, would be very likely to magnify faults, and 
" see things in a false light. Be careful, in future, Henri ; 
" for you both have, hot blood. 

" Your mother will return one week from to-day, and 
" I shall go with her, and will take the girl home with me, 
" if you wish. But, if she is the depraved thing your 
" mother has described, I cannot keep her, unless we can 
" reform her; and I am in hopes that your good aunt will 
" be able to do so, for she is so kind that her influence 
" with the depraved is very great. Write immediately, 
" Henri, and then I can determine what to do. 

" Thy affectionate uncle, • 

" Thomas Eaton." 

By the time I had finished this letter, my heart was 
very full of bitterness. " Would to God," I exclaimed, 
" that I had a mother worthy of the name ! " I felt 
that she was unworthy of love or respect. 

It is fearful for a child to feel thus towards a parent ; 
but I could not help it. I thought that she was wantonly 
trifling with the character of her own chilfl, and fearfully 
wronging a little, helpless girl, who had already suffered 
most shameful abuse. When I read the letter to Helen, 
and gave loose rein to some of my bitter thoughts, she 



THE DEACON FOILED. 61 

duded me, in her childlike way, for cherishing such feel- 
ings towards my mother. "Well, you ought to hate 
her," I said, in reply. 

" 0, no, I can never hate your mother ! " 

" You never can ! But you ought to hate and des- 
pise any being who causes you such suffering. Let any 
one treat me so, and I should hate like a demon ! " 

"I would rather forgive." 

"What ! forgive those who abuse you so? " 

"168." 

" That is strange and unnatural. If I was a man, I 
should think it unmanly." 
" Jesus always forgave ; — was he unmanly ? " 
" I suppose not ; but I cannot pardon those who wan- 
tonly abuse me, and I don't see how anybody can. But 
I must go and reply to my dear, kind uncle." I went 
to my room and immediately wrote this letter : 

" Dear Uncle : I was shocked when I read the con- 
" tents of your note. I tell you plainly that what my 
"mother has told you is almost entirely false ! I will not 
"say that I have not been saucy to mother ; but then I 
"could not help it, and I don't think you would have 
"blamed me. The girl whom she describes I suppose to 
"be Helen Means, the one I want you to take home. The 
" poor thing has received such foul abuse that it makes my 
(c Mood boil as I write ; and yet she has the best, the kind- 
6 



62 THE DEACON FOILED. 

" est, the most forgiving disposition in the world. Deacon 
11 Webber is a detestable hypocrite, and a monster ! 

" I was sadly disappointed, last night, in not finding 
11 yon at the Cold Spring. I knew not what to think. 
11 My mother went away without informing me that she 
" was to be absent for any length of time, or that she 
" was to visit yon. 

" The poor child was in the greatest distress when she 
" was obliged to give np all hope of seeing you that night 
" She did not dare to return to Deacon Webber's, for she 
" knew that she would be most unmercifully beaten. She 
" is now at our house, and I have persuaded Mrs. Stewart, 
" who is a kind, good body, to let her stay until mother 
" returns. She wears a suit of my clothes, which I wore 
"some years since; and they fit her very well. The 
" thought never occurred to us, until this morning, that the 
" clothes might be known ; but, as Mrs. Stewart, who is 
" near-sighted, is the only one who would be likely to 
" remember them, we feel less anxious. We must not let 
" mother see her ; for she would know the clothes, at once. 
" Be sure and return with mother, and Helen Means will 
" be ready to accompany you home. We will meet you 
" at the Cold Spring, at sunset. Till then, adieu. 
" Yours, affectionately, 

"Henri Eaton." 

The five succeeding days passed very pleasantly; 



THE DEACON FOILED. 68 

Helen and I were constant companions, and I never was 
happier. Mrs. Stewart manifested the greatest anxiety 
fcr Helen's welfare, and was as kind to her as though 
she had been her own child. On the sixth day, we were 
in a field near the road for the first time, haying hitherto 
avoided the streets, and every place where she would be 
likely to be seen and recognized. 

Sat we had followed a large red butterfly, without 
dunking where it was leading us. Just as we were about 
to get over the fence, Deacon Webber came along in his 
carriage. When he saw us, he stopped his horse. He 
had been suspicious of me, and he quickly surmised that 
the seeming boy was the' runaway girl. He looked at 
us a few moments ; and then, addressing me, he said, 

11 Whose little boy is that with you ? " 

" Do you wish to know his name, Deacon ? " I inquired, 
rather maliciously. 

" His name, or his father's name, — I am not particu- 
lar which." 

" Very well, Deacon, I am not disposed to tell you 
either. You might as well drive along," was my very 
imprudent answer. , 

" Not quite so fast, you young imp of Satan ! I want 
to know who that boy is; and, what's more, I will 
know ! " 

" We are neither of us Satan's imps, so we do not 
belong to Deacon Webber ; and you had better not give 



64 THE DEACON FOILED. 

yourself any further trouble as to who my young fnefid 
is; for you cannot know, Deacon." 

" What is your name, little boy ? " he said, coaxingly. 
She stood trembling with fear. " I thought so," he con- 
tinued. "I must come and be introduced, for I feel 
unaccountably interested." 

As he leaped from his wagon, I caught up a stone ; but 
Helen fled like a frightened fawn. The deacon ran after 
her, and, as I saw that he was gaining upon her, I threw 
the stone at his horse, which started him off at frill speed. 
The deacon heard the noise of the carriage, and, turning 
round, bawled, lustily, " Stop that horse! stop that 
horse ! " As he had a heavy bass voice, I thought that 
a tenor accompaniment would add to the effect ; so I joined 
in singing the same tune, but on a different key, with 
variations. He pursued Helen no further, but went after 
his horse with all the power of locomotion he possessed, 
muttering and grumbling that he would have her yet, 
and promising to bring down any amount of judgments 
on my offending head. I listened to his threatenings with 
the most intense satisfaction, and was wicked enough to 
hope that his carriage would get essentially used up, and 
that it might be some hours before he would overtake his 
runaway horse. Watching him until out of sight, I 
went in search of Helen. 

I expected to find her in the woods, which were not 
far off. It was astonishing how she ran. Had there 



THE BEACON FOILED. 65 

keen a wild beast in pursuit of her, she could not have 
fled with greater speed. Ah ! she knew but too well 
that a worse than wild beast was on her track. I would 
lather have a child of mine given over to the tender 
lorries of a hungry wolf than to put her into such hands 
as Deacon Webber's; and I have always felt that to 
uphold a system which gives such wretches the entire 
control of thousands of helpless children was not only 
unchristian, but monstrous. 

I was disappointed in my expectations of finding Helen. 
I searched the woods until dark, in vain. I shouted 
her name in every part of them, but only the echoes 
answered me. When conscious that it was useless to 
search longer, I turned my steps homeward. As I entered 
the house, I met Mrs. Stewart. 

"What does it mean ?" she inquired. "J)eacon Web- 
ber has been here to see your mother ; and he says 
that you have enticed away his little servant-girl, and 
dressed her like a boy ! Is this true, Henri ? " 

"True as the gospel," I replied. "Edward Bailey 
was Helen Means, and nobody else, and Deacon Webber's 
slave ! " 

" The deacon's slave ! Did he abuse her 1 " 

"Yes, he did. You would have been indignant, if 
you had seen those soiled rags which} she wore day and 
night. He gave her rags to wear, and rags to sleep on ; 
and he whipped her without mercy>! " 
6* 



66 THE DEACON FOILED. 

" I fear what you say is all too. true. I never liked 
that man. I am afraid that he will get her into his 
clutches again. Where is she ? " 

" I know not. But, if he gets her, he shall not keep 
her. He may murder her, but she shall never stay these 
alive." 

" He says that she is an awful wicked child." 

"He lies, Mrs. Stewart! There is not a better 
child in the wide world. Was your lost one a sweet and 
gentle child ? So is Helen Means. She forgives injuries 
like an angel ! " 

" I am glad to hear you say it. But where can she 
be, poor thing ? ! an awful account have they to 
render, who abuse children. A thousand prayers a day 
won't save them. The deacon accused me of being in 
the plot ; and when I denied it, he very coolly told me 
that he hoped I might be able to clear myself. How 
insulting, after I had denied that I knew anything about 
the matter ! " 

" He is so false himself, that he thinks everybody else 
the same. He will accuse me, I doubt not ; and I shall 
be proud to plead guilty. " 

" You must be careful, Henri, for your mother and 
the deacon are great friends. You know what a fearful 
temper your mother has, when it is roused ! Do not, I 
beseech you, stir up a whirlwind of passion ; for God only 
knows where it would end ! " 



THE DEACON FOILED. 6T 

"And I do not care much. I have bttt little anxiety 
for myself, but for that poor child it is agony ! O f 
Mrs. Stewart, how would you feel if she were your own 
child, but eleven years old, and in the woods alone on such 
a dark night as this ? What must be her feelings now 1 
Terribly will she suffer to-night ; but she will feel safer 
k the woods alone than she would in the hands of those 
pious tigers. I wish I had the deacon and his family in 
my power ; — I 'd give them what they deserve ! I hate 
and despise them all ! " 

" Tut, tut, Henri ! Do not talk so. It is not Chris- 
tian to cherish a revengeful spirit. Let us hope that all 
will jet be well. It seems a terrible thing for a little 
girl to be in the woods alone at night ; but God will pro- 
tect her, Henri.' ' • . 

" Amen ! " I responded. " A blissful thought has 
just come into my mind ; and ! it is as welcome as 
the balmy breath of flowers.' ' 

"What is it, Henri ?" 

" It is believed by many that the spirits of the dead — 
those who are worthy — watch over and guard the living. 
Perhaps my own dear father will be her guardian angel 
to-night, and while she sleeps drop a tear of sympathy 
upon her pale cheeks." 

" A happy thought, truly, Henri. I love to think of 
the spirits of the departed hovering around us. The 



68 THE DXACON FOILED. 

blessed God sends them, to cheer and comfort the chil- 
dren of his lore." 

11 May he send them to watch oyer poor Helen, to- 
night" 

" Amen ! Amen ! " 

It was late when I retired to rest A number of 
times I went out, to see if I could find Helen. Ere- 
quentiy I fancied that I heard her footsteps, but it was 
ever an illusion. At twelve o'clock I sought my bed, 
and ere many moments I fell asleep, being greatly 
fatigued. I had not yet recovered my health, and could 
endure but little. The reader will not be surprised when 
I inform him that I dreamed of Helen. 

I fancied myself in the woods, where I had never been 
before. The -rain was pouring down in torrents, and I 
was soon drenched to my skin. 

- I wandered on in search of some object, but it puzzled 
me exceedingly to make out what it was. At last I 
stopped, for I could go no further. Suddenly a being 
approached me, so beautiful that I was entranced. Its 
wings were whiter than snow, and softer than the petals 
of a rose ; and its eyes were gentle, and beaming with love. 
It beckoned me to follow. I obeyed, and was led to the 
base of a large tree, where I beheld a pale-faced child, 
sleeping as quietly as an infant on its mother's bosom. 

" Dost know her ? " said the spirit. 

" It is Helen Means ! " I replied. 



THE DEACON FOILED. 69 

"Listen," said the spirit. 

She changed her position slightly, murmured Henri, 
and smiled. The rain was beating upon her, and she 
was very wet, all but her face. Her head being sheltered 
by a large limb of the tree, not a drop had fallen upon it. 
I could have wept to see her thus ; but the spirit said, 
" Fear not ; I will guard her." 

At that moment I awoke, and I was somewhat startled ; 
for it seemed that the words were spoken in my room. 
Had some one been there, and uttered them, that very 
instant, I should not have heard their enunciation any 
more distinctly. I listened ; — the rain was falling, as 
though the flood-gates of heaven were opened. " Poor 
Helen ! " I said ; " you have need of guardian spirits at 
such a trying time as this." 

It was some time before I again fell asleep, and then 
only to find myself in the same woods, and to pass 
through the same scene. Helen looked so natural, as 
she lay there-, with the rain beating upon her, that it 
seemed more like a reality than a dream. The third thne 
was the vision repeated, and when I awoke it was morn- 
ing. The rain was still pouring down, and the wind was 
sobbing and moaning around the buildings, and shrieking 
in the trees near by, and then went sweeping far away, 
howling dismally when it reached the woods. I shud- 
dered when I thought that mother would not be able to 
return, and, if I should find Helen, she could not make 



70 THE DEACON FOILED. 

her escape that day, and secure a sweet resting-place & 
my uncle's, which she so much needed. 

But I was happily disappointed. At eleven o'clock 
the clouds broke away, and the sun came out warm and 
golden. How thankful I was ! I spent the day in search- 
ing for Helen ; but all in vain. With a sad heart, I met 
my uncle at the appointed time and place, alone. When 
he heard my story, I saw the large tears roll down hit 
dee. I could not weep, for my eyes were dry and 
burning. 

" Let us hope for the best, Henri," said my uncle. " If 
you find her, do not fail to let me know it, and I will 
come for her without delay. I now regret that I had 
not met you at this spot at the time first appointed." 

With heavy hearts wq separated. I went home, and, 
without seeing my mother, brothers or sisters, went to 
bed, but not to rest. A "few snatches of sleep were all 
that I could get through a long night. The thought of 
the lost one haunted me, and I courted the sleepy god in 
vain. 



CHAPTER IV. 

MY MOTHER AND DEACON WEBBER. 

Lhjj the preceding day, I wandered in search of Hel- 
en. I passed through one piece of woods after another, 
until I came to a lot of wood-land, some three miles from 
home. Here the scenery seemed natural, as if I had 
lately been there ; and yet I had no recollection of ever 
being there before. • I was positive that this was the first 
time. Presently I came in sight of a noble-looking tree, 
unusually large ; and then I remembered my dream. The 
tree was the same, and at its base — incredible as it may 
seem — the form of a child was impressed upon the earth, 
as though it had lain there for hours. The spot where her . 
head had rested was precisely the same ; a large limb of 
the tree was directly over it. I was now satisfied that Helen 
had slept there on the night she had fled from her enemy. 
She might, I thought, be still in the woods. I rambled 
through every part of them, and often shouted her name ; 
but, like the preceding day, echoes were my only reply. 
When nearly sunset, feint and weary, I returned home. 

On the morning following, I received a message from 
my mother, commanding my immediate presence in the 



72 MY MOTHER AND DEACON WEBBER. 

sitting-room. I knew what I might expect, but I did 
not care in the least. Despair had nerved me for any- 
thing. 1 entered the room without flinching, and saw, 
sitting upon the sofa, my mother and Deacon Webber. 
Their feces darkened, when their eyes fell upon me, like a 
thunder-cloud ; but this did not alarm me in the least. I 
just then liked it, and was willing that the lightning and 
thunder should follow. " Take a seat," said my mother, 
without altering a muscle of her face. I mechanically 
obeyed, and sat myself down in front of my accusers! 
They looked at me sternly, but without producing the 
effect they intended. Mother trembled, and I knew the 
storm was coming. 

" How have you spent your time, during my absence, 
Henri ? " she inquired. 

" In doing good, I hope, mother," I replied. 

" Wicked boy ! Do not tell me so ; for I know better." 

" If you knew all about it, why did you ask me ? " 

" To see if you would speak the truth." 

" A worthy motive, truly ! " 

" The crimes which you have been guilty of, during 
my brief absence, are startling, and almost unaccountable, 
in one so young ! " 

" That 's news to me ! Who are my accusers ? " 

She pointed to the deacon. 

" Very well," I said, regarding him contemptuously; 
"goon!" 



\ 



MY MOTHER AND DBACON WEBBER. _ 78 

" He has informed me that you have enticed away his 
little servant-girl, Helen Means ! " 

" Is that the biggest crime in the dark catalogue, I 
wonder 1" 

" What have yon to say to this charge? " 

"I will tell you, in a few words. It is false! — 
nothing can be more so." 

" Be careful bow you speak, Henri I Don't be too 
hasty. Do you charge Deacon Webber with falsehood?" 

" It 's a matter of very little consequence to me." 

The deacon arose, in a passion. 

" Boy \ " ha said, " such insults cannot be allowed. 
Beware, sir, what you say, or you may be guilty of still 
greater crimes ! I am an anointed vessel in the holy 
church, — a member of Christ's glorious body." 

" I was not aware of that fact. Do you really believe 
that you are a member of Christ's glorious body, an 
anointed vessel in his church ? " 

" Blessed be his holy name, I do! I know, for I have 
the evidence within me." 

" I hope we shall see the fruits, then." 

" You would, if you were not so blinded by sin and 
licked works. Since I became a member of that mysti- 
cal body, I trust that I have let my light shine upon a 

darkened world. When you speak against me, you speak 

*Buast one of the elect, and you do it at your peril." 
7 



74 MY MOTHER AND DEACON WEBBER. 

My mother gave a deep sigh. 

" Those filthy rags," said I, " worn by Helen Means, 
are an evidence of your holiness and purity, I suppose." 

" I see that you are terribly depraved," replied the 
deacon; "and only the most severe chastisements will 
save you. Helen Means is a vicious child, like yourself 
I knew that a solemn responsibility was resting upon me, 
and I resolved to be faithful. I did not mean that her 
blood should cling to the skirts of my garments. I had 
commenced a course of discipline which would, I doubt 
not, if you had not thwarted my plans, have proved effect- 
ual. I gave her poor clothes, because I wished to teach 
her humility. I let her go filthy and ragged, that she 
might learn how full of all uncleanness was her own 
heart, and how it was torn by the unresisted temptations 
of the devil. I chastised her severely, that she might 
think of the fearful chastisements which God would 
inflict upon her, if she did not repent of her sins, — her 
wicked lying and stealing, and other sinful deeds. I 
often told her of all this ; and, previous to her acquaint- 
ance with you, the remedies were working admirably for 
the cleansing and purification of the sin-sick soul. And 
now, if she sinks into utter ruin, the hideous curse, burn- 
ing and blasting the soul, will fall upon you ! " 

This sublime bombast, and hypocritical nonsense and 
wickedness, caused my mother to draw a long breath, 
while she seemed to shake as though cold chills were 



MY MOTHER AND DEACON WEBBER. 75 

creeping over her. I was tempted to ask her if she did 
not think she was going into an ague-fit. But, knowing 
that she was my mother, I restrained my wicked propen- 
sity for somewhat wicked jokes. 

" You can now see, Henri," she said, " how fearfully 
wicked you have been. Repent, before it is too late ! 
Restore that sinful child to the arms of her faithful 
guardian, and go and sin no more ! " 

"You ask of me an impossibility," said I, with a 
calmness that surprised me. " If it were in my power, I 
would not do it. Bad as you represent me, I am not 
capable of a deed so monstrous. Should I be left to do 
so wicked a thing, I should never have the courage to 
ask God for mercy and pardon. Deacon Webber says 
that Helen Means is vicious, like myself. She is not 
vicious or depraved, whatever I may be; though she 
wouHhave been made so, if she had not been so pure and 
truthful. Helen is an angel, — all love, truth and good- 
ness. It is a shame to abuse any one as she has been 
abused. Such is not the religion of the New Testa- 
ment. I wish that some in your church, who are what 
they profess to be, followers of Jesus, could know what 
I know ! They are too pure to ever receive the bread 
and wine from such unholy and polluted hands. You 
seek to frighten me by denunciations, by appealing to 
my fears ; but your labor is vain and useless. If I have 



78 MY. MOTHER AND DEACON WEBBER. 

done anything to benefit that poor child, I rejoice at it* 
and I know that God will bless me." 

" Shocking blasphemy ! " -exclaimed the deacon. 

" I am astonished ! " said my mother. 

" Who ever heard of a boy, fifteen years old, talking 
in that manner before ? The devil most help him," said 
the deacon. 

"You are mistaken," I replied. "The devil never 
gets divided against himself." 

" Hold your tongue, Henri ! I will not have you talk- 
ing so saucy. I am your mother, and I have a right to 
command you, and it is your duty to obey." 

" If you wish me to hold my tongue, you should not 
ask me questions, and Deacon Webber should leave off 
making false charges." 

Here my mother gave me a severe blow on the side of 
my head. 

"Well done!" said the deacon. "He deserves 
harder knocks than that, to make him know his place." 

"Blows upon my head, and excitement, caused very 
severe sickness, not long since ; and the same agencies 
may produce the same effect again, and death may be the 
result, and that would be murder." 

" Then obey me ! " said my mother. " Do not speak 
again without my permission." 

" You are my mother, I well know ; but when you 
are leagued with a villain, for the vilest of purposes, and 



MY MOTHEK AND DEACON WEBBER* 77 

i bis influence abuse your own child, I feel it no 

sin to disobey." 

"Have I not told you to hold your tongue ?" 

"You have, mother ; but, though you kill me, in such 
a cause as this I wtfl speak. You may attempt to cover 
up the most cruel wrongs with the stolen garb of piety ; — 
it will not do. I see through it all, and know what your 
motives are." When I had said this, I started to leave 
tie room. 

"Stay," said my mother, "and hear the other charges 
against you. Tou are accused, in conjunction with Mrs. 
Stewart, of enticing away Helen Means, in clothing her 
like a boy, giving her shelter ; and, when her master was 
about to regain her^you frightened his horse, causing it 
to run away, demolishing his carriage, and maiming the 
beast for life. Is not this all true ? " 

"I have already told you that I did not entice Helen 
away. She needed no enticement. The most wicked 
abuse drove her away, and that we all know. Mrs. Stew- 
art had no part nor lot in the matter, and did not know 
of it until informed by her accuser. I shall not deny 
but that I gave Helen clothes, and boy's clothes too; 
for I wished her to escape, if possible. As to the last 
charge, it being of a serious nature, I shall let the deacon 
prove it, if he can. I am sorry for the poor beast, but I 
do not pity the owner.' ' 
"You have said enough," remarked my mother, "and 
7* 



78 MY MOSBBB AND DEACON WEBBER. 

JOB ought to expect • punishment in aooordanoe with 
jour transgressions." 

" I should like that, above <01 thing*," I replied. 

" There is but one way finr you to escape," she said. 
" If you will give the information requisite to enable Ike 
deacon to recover the child, you shall be pardoned." 

" Is that all I am required to do ? I could not pos- 
sibly comply; for either of "yoa know where she is as 
well as I do. She may be dead, and she may not be ; 
but, whether living or dead, I know not where she is. 
And, if I did, I would have my tongue cut out of my 
head before I would tell you ! " 

"It is well for you," she said, " that you do not know; 
for if you did, and refused to tell us, we would tie you 
up and whip you until you revealed the truth." 

" And you should beat me to death, and be no wiser; 
for I would die before I would tell you." 

" You may go now," said my mother. " Your offences 
are of such an extraordinary nature that we require time 
to select suitable punishments." 

I bowed very low, and left the room, well satisfied with 
the part I had acted, only regretting that I had confessed 
te furnishing Helen with boys' clothes, fearful -that it 
might be the means of her recapture. 



CHAPTER V. 

SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

The reader will say that such scenes between mother 
and child are deplorable. I will not deny it. But, 
constituted as I was, with a deadly hatred of every spe- 
cies of injustice, and with an impetuous disposition, how 
could I do otherwise than act the part I did? I do not 
now justify all I said to my mother ; but the circumstances 
were peculiar, and I do not know that I should have said 
less, if my life had paid the penalty of my rashness. I 
row surprised that I governed myself so well. 

As I went into the front entry, where I had left my 
<*p, I saw Mrs. Stewart, who looked pale and anxious. 
We retired to the kitchen, where I gave her a brief history 
°f the last hour's transactions. 

"What will be the end of this?" she exclaimed, lay- 
ln gher hand upon my forehead. " Tour head is as hot 
m fire. You must go and lay down, and I will bathe it 
wth camphor." 

" My head does feel strangely ; but I cannot lie down 
n °W. I must have one more search for the lost child." 



80 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

The most of the day I spent in the fields and woods, but 
with the success of other days. When night came, I 
returned home, with my head burning and painful. A 
number of times I was obliged to stop, and think which 
way I mast go. Sometimes I could not see, for there 
was a blur before my eyes. I reached home, at last, and 
hastened to bed, but not to rest ; for I passed through 
scenes more distressing than those of my previous sick- 
ness. How long was that night ! It seemed to me, in 
my lucid moments, that morning would never come again. 
Sometimes I thought I must be with the damned, where 
night has no morning, pain no cessation, and the fire that 
was consuming me would never go out. ! how ago- 
nizing were my shrieks, which awoke me from my dream 
of horror ! Then again I was wandering far, far away, 
in swamps and dark woods, in search of a lost child, whom 
I was doomed to seek after until found. Now I sunk into 
the mire, and struggled fearfully to get Qut ; then I tore 
my clothes and flesh with thorns and briers, or in the 
deep, dark woods at night, where the wild beasts were 
prowling, and the dismal howl of hungry wolves made 
me tremble with fear and horror ; and in a large tree ovei 
my head a tiger was about to spring upon me, and he 
showed his teeth and licked his chops, and glared at me 
with his great eyes, which looked like balls of fire. Just 
as he was ready to leap upon his preyj\ I sprang from the 
bed, in the wildest frenzy of alarm. Mrs. Stewart and 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — OOOD NEWS. 81 

Jiue caught hold of me; bat I kept my eyes upon the 
tiger, and was surprised and delighted to see the tree upon 
which he sat wave to and fro with increasing violence, 
until he was thrown some distance into a lake, and sunk 
beneath the waves forever ! Then I clapped my hands, 
and shouted in triumph. Sometimes, I would see my 
mother, with distorted features and evil-looking eyes, aim- 
ing a blow at my head ; while a creature who seemed like 
the devil, with the fece of Deacon Webber, stood grinning 
and chuckling behind her. I caught a glass tumbler from 
the lightstand and aimed it at his head, and was awoke 
torn my delirium by its going plump through the 
window. 

Days and weeks passed away before I recovered from 
this most dangerous sickness. My head was shaved and 
Mistered ; and many times I heard it said, in a low whis- 
per, "He cannot long survive." Mrs. Stewart and Jane 
attended me with the most loving faithfulness. Sometimes 
mother came and looked at me with great anxiety, and 
<ftoe I saw tears coursing down her cheeks. After many 
weary days, I was considered out of danger, and began 
slowly to regain health and strength. 

As soon as I was able to think at all, my thoughts 
turned to Helen. I was rejoiced to learn that the search 
°f Beacon Webber had been as fruitless as my own. No 
°Q* had heard from her. For many days I felt that 
ftttewas something which I wished to call to mind; but 



82 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

what it was I could not make out. At last I thought I 
had been to the post-office, previous to my sickness, and 
requested that all letters directed to me should be kept at 
the office until I called for them. 

I had now been sick four weeks, and I felt that there 
must be letters for me at the office. I despatched Mrs. 
Stewart with an order that they should be delivered to 
her. She speedily returned with three letters, and by 
their superscriptions I knew that they were all from Uncle 
Eaton. I requested Mrs. Stewart to break the seals, and 
read them to me. The reader will be glad to peruse 
them entire. 

" Dear Henri : I have good and bad news for you. 
" Helen Means is here, but she is very sick. Come and 
"see her, if you can, immediately; if not, write on the 
" receipt of this. In haste, yours, 

"Thomas Eaton." - 

! how anxious I was for the contents of the next let- 
ter. But I did not get them until I had doubly and 
trebly promised to be calm. The second was no mtfre 
satisfactory. It was dated two weeks later. 

" Why have you not written, Henri? Have you lost 
" your interest in Helen, now that she has found a home? 
" She is dangerously sick with a fever, but we hope for 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 88 

"the best In her delirium she often calls for you, — 
"for you to save her, — so piteously that I cannot refrain 
" from shedding tears, when I hear her. If you have 
" any regard for us or for her, hasten hither. Do not 
" delay one moment. Thy uncle, 

"Thomas Eaton." 

I now trembled with excessive agitation, but happily I 

was soon relieved of my fears. The third note was dated 

only five days later. I never listened to the reading of 

a letter with more intense satisfaction. It was like good 

news from a far country, or like water to the thirsty 

soul. I had been fearful that her great sufferings would 

be too much for her, and that she would sink in death 

• under their accumulated weight, and I should never see 

W again. 

"Dear Henri: Twice have I written to you, and 
"We received no answer. We are anxious on your 
'account. We are fearful that you are sick, or some 
" mishap has befallen you. Possibly the letters have got 
4 miscarried, or some one has taken them out of the office 
11 without your knowledge. I shall wait a few days for 
{ an answer to this letter, and if I do not receive one, I 
" shall come to find out the cause of your silence. Helen 
"is convalescent. She is rapidly recovering. What a 
" 8weet child she is ! I never saw a little sufferer so 



84 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD WBWB. 

" patient Tour aunt is delighted with her ; and, as we 
11 have no children, she seems already like oar own, and 
" no inducement could be held out strong enough to make 
" us willing to part with her. We love her better every 
" day. I hope that you will soon be with us, for Helen 
" wishes very much to see you. She sends her love to 
" her friend Henri. Your aunt wishes to be remembered. 
" If you are able, I want you to write without delay. 
" From your uncle, 

"Thomas Eaton." 

" Good ! good ! " I cried, clapping my hands. " Now 
I shall get well. Bring the writing materials, and as 
answer shall be on its way soon." 

Mrs. Stewart objected, but I was determined to write 
then; and at last she brought pen, ink and paper, 1 
promising not to write but a few lines. I penned my 
uncle a brief note, informing him of my severe sickness, 
and that I had just received his letters. I requested him. 
to write and inform me where he found Helen, and where 
she went to after she fled from Deacon Webber. 

In relation to the last item I was somewhat particular; 
for my dreams, with subsequent events, had made a deep 
impression upon my mind. I was more than half convinced 
that my spirit, while the body was at rest, left its earthly 
home, and went in search of the lost child; and was 
guided to her by the guardian spirit of my father, and 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NUTS. 85 

that he would henceforth take ns both under his angel- 
care, and that was the reason why Helen went to 
the place where my uncle found her, which ended her 
wanderings, and blessed her with a dear, sweet home, 
where kind ones would watch oyer her in sickness, and 
take care of her in health. 

A few days brought a reply, which I was able to read 
myself. It was all interesting to me, and I hope it may 
prove equally so to my readers. 

" Dear Henri : Your brief note made us all very sad, 
"for we were fearful that you had been subjected to a 
H course of treatment which had again brought on the 
"brain fever. Helen, the dear child, was very unhappy ; 
"for she said that you had endured all these sufferings for 
"her sake. She thought you must wish you had never 
"seen her. I told her that you would have no regrets, 
"ag you had been instrumental in delivering her from 
" fte hand of the tormentors ; that you would glory in 
"the suffering which had wrought so great a good. 

<{ How could that fiend — for I have no softer name to 
"apply to Deacon Webber — so wickedly abuse such a 
" sweet and gentle child 1 I have listened to her simple 
" story with astonishment and indignation. You know 
"that I am a peace-man, Henri ; and yet I feel that if 
, "the villain were here, I should with difficulty restrain 
"nyself from giving him what he so richly deserved 
8 



86 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

"But that would be wrong in me, I well know. He 
" will get his punishment yet. I repeat what I said in 
"my last letter, — never was there a better child. How 
"she could have sprung from the source she did, and 
" have so much refinement, and true womanly sense, I 
" cannot understand. She informs me that her father is 
" a drunkard ; and I should think, from what she has 
"told me, that her mother has but little education and 
" refinement. Now for the information you desire. 

"You remember that we parted at the Cold Spring 
" with sad hearts. I never was more unhappy than when 
" l I turned my horse towards home. I felt deeply afflicted 
c for the little wanderer, and accused myself of neglect 
" of duty, for not coming after her the week before, and 
" placing her in some secure asylum, until your mother 
" had returned. 

" Some four miles from where I left you, ad my horse 
" was walking slowly up a steep hill, when nearly at the 
" top I heard a slight noise in some bushes, at the side of 
" the road. Presently a small boy, or what I took to be 
" one, came out, and ran with great speed down the hill. 
"'Who goes there?' I asked, which quickened his 
" pace. Just at this moment, it occurred to me that it 
" might be the lost one, Helen Means. I called her by 
" name, saying that I was Henri's uncle. She stopped, 
"and seemed to hesitate. l Don't be afraid,' I said; 
" ' Henri has been looking for you all day ; come and go 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 87 

•'home with me, poor child ! ' She now came quickly 
"towards me. 

" ' Are you Helen Means ? ' I inquired. 

" ( Yes sir,' she answered, ' and if you are Henri's 
"uncle, I shall be glad to go home with you ; for I have 
"nowhere to stay to-night.' 

" ' Poor thing ! I will give you a home, and a good 
"home, too,' I replied; and I placed her in my carriage, 
"and drove rapidly homeward. 

" ( Where did you stay last night ? ' I inquired. 
-" ( In the woods.' 

" l Were you not afraid ? ' 

" ( I was afraid, at first ; but I thought that God would 
" watch over me, and so I laid down under a tree and 
"went to sleep.' 

" 'Did you rest well V 

" ' Yes sir ; pretty well, for I was very tired, having 
"run a long ways to escape from Deacon Webber.' 

" { It was rainy, last night ; — I suppose you got very 
"wet?' 

" c I was wet to my skin when I awoke ; soaked through 
"and through, it seemed to me. My clothes were real 
"heavy. My head was not wet much, though, — just a 
"little.' 

" 1 1 should have thought you would have been cold.' 

" ' I felt pretty chilly, and so once in a while I would 
"run as fast as I could, and then I would get under a 



88 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. * 

"great tree when the rain came down so fast this fore- 
noon. After the sun came out, I took off my clothes 
" and wrung them out, and then put them on ; and they 
" are nice and dry now.' 

" ( I hope you had pleasant dreams, last night' 

" { They were very pleasant. I thought I was lying 
" asleep in the woods at night, and that I was afraid to 
" sleep there. I wished that Henri Eaton would come 
" and stay with me; and I opened my eyes, and there he 
" was, close to me. Then I was not afraid any more. 
" When he saw that I was getting so wet, he looked very 
" sorrowful. I spoke to him, and he left me in a moment. 
" He came twice more during the night, and so I thought 
" he might be near me all the time, and that I could 
"talk to him in the morning; and so I slept nicely.' 

" ( Under such peculiar circumstances, it was a very 
" happy dream. Have you had anything to eat ? ' 

" ' I found a few berries, but they were not good for 
"much.' 

" { You must be very hungry and faint % ' 

" ' Yes, sir ; but I have been without food a great deal 
" longer than this.' 

" 'Where,— at Deacon Webber's V 



" { Too bad ! but he will get his pay yet. What made 
" you run so, when I spoke to you V 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 89 

"'I. did not know but you were Deacon Webber, or 
"would carry me back to him.' 

" 'Should you rather stay in the woods than live with 
"him?' 

" ' 0, yes ; for he would half kill me, if he should get 
"me again.' 

" Thus we conversed until we arrived at home. Helen 
" could take but little refreshment, and soon retired. In 
"the morning she was in a high fever, and delirious. For 
"a number of days she was in a very critical condition. 
" She lived over and over again the past, especially the 
"last few days. She would cry out, 'He is coming! 
" Let me go ! Henri, save me ! ' Then she would cling 
"to the bed-clothes with frantic energy. Thankful were 
" tfe when the fever abated and reason returned. She is 
"almost well now, and is attending school. Never did 
"you. see a happier creature. You have done well, 
"Henri; and the thought of it will be an unfailing 
" source of satisfaction, as long as you live. 

"We shall expect you to visit us soon. Helen will be 
" overjoyed to see you, and so shall we all. Good-by, my 
" dear nephew. Thomas Eaton." 

"Thank God ! " I exclaimed, as I finished this inter- 
^g letter. " Helen is now safe. The deacon's wrath 
Dtojnow be visited upon me, but I care not." I knew 

8* 



90 SBVBRB SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

that I had not suffered in vain, and I was content. There 
was nothing to regret, for my object was accomplished. . 

I found, in the contents of this epistle, abundant food 
for thought and reflection. How singular that Helen's 
dream should be so similar to mine ! Three times she 
fancied that she saw me ; but did not see the guardian 
angel who led me to her, who had such beautiful white 
wings, and such sweet, loving eyes. I wished that die 
could have seen him too. But, after all, there was only 
a slight difference. How were the coincidences in oar 
dreams to be accounted for? Would the peculiar cir- 
cumstances by which we were surrounded solve the 
enigma? Perhaps so; but it did not seem to me that 
such strange coincidences could be accounted for on the 
supposition that dreams are always the disturbed fancied 
of the brain, caused by the action upon it of various 
external circumstances, which have been or are taking 
place. It seems more reasonable to suppose that 
man has interior senses, which may be awakened, or 
called into action, when the exterior are sealed, or in a 
state analogous to death. It may be that the soul, or 
the inner life, — the immortal spirit, — has the power, 
when the exterior senses are closed, of leaving the body 
for a time, for the purpose of doing good to a suffering 
friend, — to relieve distress, and comfort the* sorrowing 
with happy thoughts. 

I fancied that my spirit had wandered in search of 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. £1 

Helen, aad was enabled to find her through the aid of a 
guardian spirit ; and so her fears were removed, and she 
slept sweetly, though the earth was her onlj bed, and the 
storm was beating in fury upon her. Whether this idea 
w31 bear the test of enlightened criticism or not, it does 
not alter the facts. I learned, by some means or other, 
that Helen was in the woods where I had never been ; 
and I was not only made aware of that fact, but of the 
(riber things connected with it 

Notwithstanding all this good news, and the best of 
musing, I was a long time in acquiring sufficient strength 
to leave my room. 

One afternoon, when my sister Jane came in to see 
me, I spoke to her of my brothers and sisters with some 
severity, because they did not more frequently visit me. 

11 I am sorry they feel as they do," she said; "but 
you know that they and you never agreed very well, and 
&ow they believe you very saucy and abusive to mother ; 
a nd they are so indignant about it, that they do not come 
fo often to see you, for fear of getting into a dispute with 
you while you are so unwell." 

"I am very. thankful for so much kind forethought. I 
hope they will not lose their reward." 

"You should not doubt their motives, for they are 
gooi You are all hot-tempered, and a dispute now 
Wnld injure you very much." 



92 SEVERE SICKNESS.— GOOD NEWS. 

" I wish they could see an inch beyond their noses ! 
Bat where is mother, this afternoon? " 

"She has gone to Mrs. Webber's funeral." 

" Mrs. Webber's funeral ! What Webber ? " 

11 Deacon Webber's wife. Do you not know that she 
is dead?" 

"No; I had not heard of her sickness. When did 
she die?" 

"Yesterday morning. She has left a young child. 
It is sad to have a little child left without a mother." 

"If she were my mother, I should not weep much. 
What a pity the deacon don't die too ! " 

"Why, Henri! you should not talk so; it is very 
wrong." 

"He is a villain, Jane; and, if he was dead, the world 
would have reason to rejoice ! " 

" He is your enemy, Henri, but you should not be s<* 
bitter against him. Let him live as long as God is wil- 
ling. We should love our enemies, and forgive them." 

"You might as well ask me to love old clump-foot 
himself as Deacon Webber. If Milton has pictured out 
the devil correctly, I have more of a fancy for him than 
for the deacon. There is something sublime about the 
old fellow. When cast out of heaven and utterly de- 
feated, he stood up proudly in the midst of his sufferings, 
and declared that he would rather 

4 Rule in hell than serve in heaven I ' 



SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 98 

JMw, I like that; but these mean, savage hypocritical 
creatures, like Deacon Webber. I do despise and detest ! " 

" You arei/a strange boy, Henri. If it were impos- 
ablefor as to forgive and love our enemies, we should not 
be so commanded. If we rightly govern our spirits, we 
shall learn to love even our most bitter foes." 

"I don't believe it, Jane." 

"Why not?" 

"For a very good reason. It is said that the devil, 
who is man's worst foe, will take delight in tormenting 
all he. gets into his clutches. Will it be their duty to 
We him ? If so, I will try to love the deacon ; but I 
think it a very hopeless case." 

"You may feel differently, some day ; but let that pass. 
I fear you do not love me, Henri." 

" Not so intensely as I might, perhaps. But, do you 
cherish much regard for your brother Henri ? " 

" Certainly, I do. But why do you ask ? " 

"I have never witnessed any particular manifestations 
of it" 

"I grant that there has been more of coldness 

between us, in days past, than there should be between 

brother and sister ; but I would have it so no more. In 

many respects you are different from the rest of us. 

Sometimes you are too bitter; but you have a kind 

heart. You are liable to be misunderstood. The better 

I understand you, the more am I drawn towards you. 



91 SEVERE SICKNESS. — GOOD NEWS. 

Henri, I would have you confide in your sister Jai 
and you shall always receive a return of confidence i 
love." 

The kind-hearted girl almost wept as she spoke, am 
wound my arms around her neck and imprinted a 1 
upon her lips. She pressed me to her heart, and wc 
This was happiness to me \ for now there was one in • 
family who truly loved me. Mrs. Stewart came in, i 
was greatly delighted, calling us her dear children. 



CHAPTER VI. 

VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 

When I was considered strong enough for the journey, 
I resolved, if not absolutely forbidden, to visit Uncle 
Eaton's ; for I had a strong desire to see Helen Means. 
I often queried with myself as to how she would look and 
appear. I knew that I should not see her in rags or 
boys' clothes, but dressed with taste and neatness, — 
for my aunt was a paragon in such things. I thought it 
best to ask mother if I could have the privilege of making 
Uncle Thomas a visit ; but I felt wicked enough to goj 
rf she should refuse. I suppose my course would hardly 
** considered justifiable, but the part I was acting did 
*ot trouble me at all. A feeling of intense bitterness had 
8 prung up in my young heart, and I spoke the endearing 
&ame of mother with great reluctance. 

Was I to blame for this ? I acknowledge the sacred- 
Bess of the tie that binds parents and children. But it is 
possible to weaken the cord, or break it. Let the parent 
fo filse to the claims of humanity, — ay, doubly false by 
taping abuse upon a child for doing good to a suffering 



96 VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 

one, — and that parent should not complain, if the child 
loves and respects no more. The mere tie of relationship 
is not enough, and I thank God that it is not ! 

My mother readily consented to my request ; so, one 
bright Saturday afternoon, I got into a coach and rode to 
my uncle's. My reception was all that I could wish. 
As I was very faint, and had rode too far for my 
strength, my uncle took me in his arms, and carried me 
into the house and laid me on a bed, which looked so 
nice that it seemed to be almost a luxury to be sick with 
such a bed to lie in. The coverlet was as white as snow, 
and adjusted with taste, and an eye to comfort. My aunt 
soon made her appearance, with a strengthening cordial, 
which quickly revived me. 

As my uncle and aunt stood over mq, I gazed into 
their benevolent faces, and thought how good they 
looked, and what a happy home Helen Means must have. 
My uncle looked very much like my father, and had the 
same warm heart; and Aunt Eaton was every way 
worthy of him. She was one of the good-natured, whole- 
souled women, who wanted to relieve all the world. No 
one ever left her door hungry, and she had a kind word 
for the most unworthy ; and so her influence was purify- 
ing and ennobling. She was truly a preacher of right- 
eousness, — good deeds, like twin-sisters, went hand in 
hand with good words. Alas ! how often are they sep- 
arated, as wide as the poles ! Good words are dog-cheap ; 



VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 97 

but good works are for too dear, even for tie elect. In 
a brief period, I arose and walked into the sitting-room, 
*tnd sat down upon the sofa, where I was soon joined by my 
\mcle ; who came in with such a good, self-satisfied look, 
that it made me happy to behold it. He was leading a lovely 
little girl, so lovely that for a moment it was difficult to 
realize that it was Helen. And yet it was she. The 
poor, forsaken, foully-wronged child stood before me. But 
0, how chafcged ! Her skin was now very white, lips red 
as crimson, and her cheeks slightly flushed. Her sweet 
blue eyes were radiant with hope and joy. Her dress of 
Ae purest white, with a blue ribbon around her neck and 
waist, composed a wardrobe well adapted to her form and 
complexion. A better could not have been chosen, to make 
her appear interesting and lovely. I gazed with surprise 
and admiration, and thought I had never seen such a 
beautiful child. 

She <Jolored deeply when she saw me, and I felt the 
blood rush to my face. How different were our feelings 
now from what they were when I frequently saw her 
a little ragged, dirty child. I pitied her then, — now 
she seemed like something- sacred and holy. It may be 
that those who complain that their children are slighted 
are themselves the cause of it. Nothing under God's 
heaven is so well fitted to gain the admiration and love 
of human beings as a little child. It needs but to be 
treated like a human being, kept tidy and dressed neatly ; 
9 



98 VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 

and for the latter ye may pattern of the birds, or flowers, 
or the trees. Examine every lqaf, and you -will find 
all fashioned after the beautiful. Nature is a great 
teacher ; heed ye her lessons well. I would not encouragfe 
extravagance; no, — that is not required; but rather 
faithfulness to the teachings of nature. The inner often 
takes its coloring from the outer. Perhaps it may be 
said they daguerreotype each other. 

My uncle regarded us a moment with a benignant face, 
and then, as he would have treated older children, turned 
and left us alone. Helen regained her courage in a 
degree, and came timidly forward, and threw her arms 
around my neck and kissed me. I returned her caresses. 
She was the first to speak. 

" You look sick, Henri," she said. " Are you sick ? " 

" I am not very well," I replied. " I have been sick 
a long time, and I am very weak now." 

" You must not go home again until you are well," sb £ 
said, taking her seat by my side. 

" Is this a good place for sick folks ? " 

" 0, yes, Henri. I was very sick, but your uncte 
and aunt — now my father and mother — were so good 
to me, and took such good care of me, that I soon got 
well. I was very happy to be with such good people 
when I was sick ; and now that I am well, I am happy 
every day, — happy as an angel, Henri ! " 



^« 



VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 99 

"Then our. sufferings have not been in vain. I told 
you, Helen, that deliverance should come. Thank God ! " 

" Sat how you have suffered, Henri ! I cannot tell 
you how grateful I am. I cannot tell you how — how 
impossible, it seems to ever pay you so great a debt ! " 

"It is all paid now. You are saved and happy, and 
the knowledge of this fills my heart with such pure joy, 
that I would not part with it for the world." 

" But it has caused you so much pain, and made your 
mother hate you ! " 

" A fig for the pain ! Who would not suffer a little 
inconvenience for the good of another, especially when it 
fills his own cup with joy ? t In a world where there is 
80 much sin and wrong, there must be some to suffer for 
the good of others. And surely my sufferings have been 
but as a drop in the bucket." 

" Say not so, Henri. It is not a little thing to be 
brought nigh unto death twice, for the good of another. 
You have been beaten and spurned from the presence of 
your mother ; and you suffer now, Henri ; you look pale 
and sickly." 

" That will do, Helen. I shall soon fancy that I am 
quite a martyr, if you say much more." 

" And so you are, Henri ; for you have barely escaped 
death." 

Here my uncle and aunt came in, which interrupted 
our conversation. The latter wept when she realized 



100 VISIT TO MY UNCLE'S. 

how sickly I was. How I thanked her in my he$jrt for 
those tears ! Blessings upon all those who have suck 
warm, kind hearts ! 

" Well, well," said my uncle, " dry your tears, Emma; 
for you and Helen will soon make him better, I'll 
warrant" 

" I hope so," said my aunt " The poor child must 
have been very sick ! " She now went out, and returned 
in a few minutes with a nice bowl of gruel. Reader, if 
you were ever sick, and took a long ride after you were 
convalescent, and had brought to you, on your return, by 
loving hands, a bowl of nicely-seasoned gruel or milk-por- 
ridge, you will not doubt wh^p I tell you that X never m 
my life tasted of any kind of food more agreeable tQ the 
palate than that bowl of gruel. 

I remained at my uncle's for two months, and my 
health rapidly improved. How could it be otherwise, 
when so much love and kindness were lavished upon me 1 
I heard from home twice ; Jane wrote, and Mrs. Stewart 
They said that mother had inquired for my health, but said 
nothing in relation to my return. I felt very sure that 
she had no particular anxiety to see me, and that I could 
return the compliment . 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE VICTORY. 

"Welcome home again! " said Mrs. Stewart, as I 
leaped from the coach. " How you have improved ! I 
aerer expected to see you so well again. Bless you, 
dear ! " and she embraced me with all the affection of the 
most loving of mothers. She had a long story to tell 
me of what had taken place during my absence. What 
grieved me most was the very frequent calls of Deacon 
Webber. It did not look right, but very suspicious. I 
felt that it would result in no good, and Mrs. Stewart 
was also very much troubled. 

Sister Jane now made her appearance, and seemed very 
glad to see me, and we greeted each other with true broth- 
erly and sisterly love. I- soon saw mother and the rest 
of the family, and shook hands with them all. The 
greeting was not very cordial, but it was as much so as 
could have been expected, under the circumstances. 

I had been at home but a few days, when I received a 
message from my mother, commanding my immediate 
presence. 

I obeyed the summons, and found her and Deacon 
** 9* 



102 THE VICTORY. 

Webber sitting precisely as I last saw them. I was 
severely tempted to say something very insulting; but, 
on second thought, concluded that I had better not 

My mother asked me to be seated, and then the deacon 
arose very pompously, as though he was about to say 
something of great importance, looking all the time so 
very pious, the old wolf! 

" Young man," said he, " have you repented of your 
past transgressions ? " 

" Who put you in inquisitor general ? " I asked. 

" None of your insolence, sir ! " he replied. " If you 
do not humble yourself, and answer me respectfully, the 
greater will be your punishment." 

This talk almost made me furious. " Deacon Webber," 
I said, " no more of your hypocritical cant, and rascally 
nonsense ! and as to your insulting questions, I will not 
answer one of them ! " 

He trembled jand sprang towards me ; and I caught up 
a chair, and stood on the defensive, ready to strike if he 
should but lay his hand upon me. It would have pleased 
me well, just then, to have hit the deacon, and hit him 
hard. I expected that he would attempt to take the chair 
from me, but he did not ; and when I thought how young 
I was, I despised him for his cowardice. 

" Put down that chair ! " said my mother. 

" I will," I replied, " when the deacon occupies a less 
threatening attitude." 



THE VIOTOBY. 166 

"Henri, your conduct is strange and unaccountable I 
Are 70a crazy 1 " she said, bursting into teats. 
"I don't think I am crazy ; but I am bound to defend 

mjself ! " 

The deacon stood and surveyed me, as if he was some- 
what uncertain whether I was a human being or some- 
thing more. I fancied he thought me his evil genius. 
He really seemed to be afraid of me, and I was not sorry; 
for I knew well enough that he really ached to get hold 
of me, and manifest his good-will by giving me a few of 
his impressivcarguments. But I had made up my mind 
that, if he offered to lay his hand upon me, he would find 
me very much inclined to defend myself. Though but 
a boy, he would have found me an earnest one, when 
thus roused. Just at that time, a blow upon the head, 
from the weapon I held in my hands, might have been 
rather serious. I know that I was rash ; but I had the 
utmost abhorrence of the deacon. My hatred was bitter 
and intense; and, if he had touched me, even with 4he 
approval of my mother, every drop of blood in my veins 
would have cried out revenge, and perchance not in vain. 

In due time he became convinced that I was not dis- 
posed to yield the floor ; so he sat down. I followed his 
example, casting upon him looks of hatred and contempt. 

My mother seemed to tremble with passion and indig- 
nation at my conduct. But I thought she felt afraid of 
me, and that gave me renewed courage. I do not sup- 



104 THE VICTORY. 

pose that she wanted the deacon to do me any lasting 
injury ; but she was particularly anxious that I should 
treat him with a great deal of deference, and be very 
humble, and answer his questions in a repentant spirit, 
and quietly acquiesce in the decision thgy had made con- 
cerning my great sins, which were so severely felt by the 
deacon. She had hoped that the previous interview, my 
subsequent sickness, and some manifestations of kindness, 
might have weakened and subdued me. But she found 
me more determined than ever; and this was extremely 
mortifying. 

Taking my eyes from the deacon, I fixed them boldly 
upon her. " You have sent for me," said I, " givingme 
to understand that business of importance demanded my 
attention. If you have anything to say to me of an im- 
portant nature, it is my duty to hear it, I suppose ; but 
what has Deacon Webber to do about it ? " 

" The crime was committed against him, and he should 
have some voice in relation to the punishment which you 
are to receive." 

"Very convincing, truly! But I should think it 
necessary to prove that he has suffered wrong, before he 
inflicts punishment." 

" He knows that." 

" I don't believe it, for I know that he has suffered no 
wrong at my hands." 



TM VICTOR*. 1©5 

"Where is my horse, my wagon and my little serv- 
ant?" said the deacon. 

"lam not their keeper, deacon; so I cannot inform 
job," I replied. 

"He has grievously suffered at your hands, Henri, 
and restitution should be made, as far as in your power," 
remarked my mother ; " and your punishment should be 
in accordance with the deeds of wrong.' ' 

"I have not wronged him at all ; but he has wronged 
me, and so have you ; and Helen Means was shamefully 
abused by you both ! " 

" This is scandalous ! " said the deacon. 

u More than that," I replied ; "it was outrageous ! " 

" I am surprised, Henri," said my mother, " that you 
should look and talk so strangely. Have you forgotten 
that you are but fifteen ? " 

"And ' I am surprised that you should look and talk 
so strangely.' No, mother, I have not forgotten that; 
and I remember something equally important." 

"What is that?" 

"That I shall be sixteen in a few weeks. But what 
has this to do with the important subject to which I am 
to listen?" 

"Nothing; only, when you talk to those who are so 
much older, you should be more respectful." 

" I am respectful, when they deserve it." 



106 THE VICTORY. 

" Any one would suppose you to be twenty-five, instead 
of fifteen, to hear you talk." 

" I thank you for the compliment. If I were twenty- 
five, things would be different from what they are now. 
Some folks would be careful what they did, and where 
they went, and how long they stayed ! " 

Here the deacon arose, looking very angry, and said 
he would not bear these insults any longer, and took his 
hat and marched out of the house. While I stood at the 
window, watching his retreating footsteps, mother said, 

" I beg of you not to talk any more as you have done, 
or I shall think you insane. Do be more reasonable." 

" I try to adapt myself to the company I am in ; and, 
under present circumstances, it is the best I can do. 
Have you anything more that you wish to say ? " 

" Yes, but I have been waiting for you to grow calm, 
so that I could talk to you in relation to the subject 
which has been so long under consideration. We have 
con " 

" Who *s we ? " I inquired, interrupting her. 

" Deacon Webber and myself." 

" I thought it very probable ; but go on, if you 
please.' ' 

" I could not well do otherwise than consult Deacon 
Webber ; for, through your instrumentality, he has been 
a great sufferer. Why you have done as you have, I 
cannot tell ; but I hope that you have not been so bad as 



THE VICTORY. 107 

jour actions would indicate. We have chosen the mildest 
punishment which the circumstances would admit of, — a 
punishment which may seem severe now, but, in the end, 
it may place yon in a position honorable to yourself 
and family. You are to go into the navy, as a midship- 
man." 

" I have no taste for the navy, mother ; and I shall 
consult my guardian before I assent to that arrange- 
ment." 

"I don't want the least opposition from you to this 
plan. It will be best for you to submit. Come, be a 
good boy once!" 

" This, you say, is my punishment ; and I have only 
done good ! " 

" Don't call such conduct good ; for you are sinful 
enough already. I am your mother, and it is your duty 
to obey me." 

"Not in such a case as this. I abhor such baseness. 
Did you and the deacon hatch that out, after setting 
three months ? Quite a bantling ! " 

" Do not anger me, Henri, or I may say and do what I 
s Wl be sorry for." 

<( I do not wish to excite you, or put you in a passion ; 
^t I have no inclination for the life you have chosen for 
me." 

" Why not?" 

" I have already told you that I have no taste for it; 



108 THE VICTORY. 

and, if I had, I should not be willing to ente* the naVy, 
if I was sent there to punish me for performing a goocl 
act I have already suffered severely, and you ought to 
be satisfied." 

"It is blasphemy, Henri, to call wickedness find 
wrong goodness." 

" That may all be tme; so some people had better be 
careful what they say. I aided in the escape of Helen 
Means, and God knows that I did well; and, had I died 
for it, the thought would have made my last moments 
sweet ! " 

" Then there is no repentance ? " 

" Repentance ! Do you think tljat I could be so base 
as to repent of that ? When I repent of such a deed, 
may the good Lord visit me with his wrath ! " 

" Be careful, Henri, car he will. The evil one has 
blinded you, that he may drag your soul down to 
perdition." 

" I don't believe it, mother. God will not punish me 
for a deed like that, unless he is a monster. I have but 
imitated the example of his Son, and suffered for doing 
good ; so don't be frightened, if I claim that, in so far as 
the deed is concerned that you wish to punish me for, I 
am like his Son." 

" Why Henri ! how you do talk ! You make my blood 
run cold. For a human being to compare himself to 



TH* VICTORY. 109 

Christ is blasphemy. If you goon in this way, you will 
be left to commit the sin which can never be forgiven." 

"I don't fear that, in the least Deacon Webber 
would be glad to shut me out of heaven, I doubt not; but 
he has not the power. He don't happen to have the key. 
God only punishes for evil deeds, but never for good 
ones." 

" Well, let that pass. If you will obey me In this, we 
shall have no further trouble. In a few weeks every- 
thing will be ready for your departure.' f 

" You had better make up your mind that I shall not 
enter the navy. I shall not, if I can help it, submit to 
any punishment for the good I have done. I am very 
sure that my guardian will not allow one cent of my 
share of the property to be used for the object you and 
the deacon have in view ; and Uncle Thomas would never 
consent that I should be forced to adopt that to which I 
am so much opposed." 

" Your uncle has nothing to do about it, and it will 
not be well for him to interfere* I shall consult your 
guardian at once." 

"So shall I ; and, if need be, Uncle Thomas will con- 
sult him too. It is better for all concerned that this mat- 
ter should be left where it is ; for I know that its further 
agitation is useless, and can result in no good." 

"If you were not a vile, ungrateful boy," said my 
10 



110 THE VICTOBT. 

mother, bursting into tears, " you would do as I desire. 
Tou were always a wicked, disobedient child ! " 

So saying, she left the room. I went, without delay, to 
consult with my guardian; and when I had told him what 
my mother had said, he replied, 

" The deuce take it ! You enter the nary ! You be 
a midshipman ! What can the old lady be thinking 
about, to wish to make a midshipman of you ? That old, 
black fellow, Webber, is at the bottom of it, I '11 warrant 
you. Well, well, what say, — how would you like it? " 

" Mr. Edgarton," said I, " I should not like it at all." 

" Just so, just so. I knew you would not ; no place 
for you. Better be a farmer, — most independent life 
there is, — healthiest, too. Did you tell your mother that 
you did not wish to enter the navy ? " 

"I did; and, what 'sf more, I told her plainly that I 
would not do it ! " 

" Ha, ha, ha, ha ! Square as a brick ! What said 
she to that?" 

" She said that I should do as she wished, — that I 
must obey, and she would immediately consult you." 

" Consult me ! What will she consult me for, — does 
she suppose thatl shall take my horsewhip and drive you 
there?" 

" No, but she wants you to hand over a little cash, — 
one or two cool hundreds, that 's all." 



THE VICTORY. Ill 

"Not a cent for any such purpose ! — not one cent ! 
So she may set her heart at rest." 
"You are very kind," I replied. 
" Not a bit of it, — duty, that 's all. But how do you 
[ and the deacon get along ? He told me that he had a 
[i long bill against you." 

^ " And I intend to settle it, one of these days, — at 

least, to my satisfaction." 

" Don't be rash, boy, — have a care. Have you seen 
him lately?" 
"I have just had a little skirmish with him." 
. " You have,— how 's that ? " 

" He said that I was very insulting ; and so he came at 
xne with the intention of teaching me to be a little more 
respectful to my superiors f " 
" What did you do— run? " 

" Not I, Mr. Edgarton ; I caught up a chair, and he 
did not dare to touch me ! " 

"You did! Bravo! You caught up a chair, — ha, 
ha, ha ! Meant'to hit him, — give him a smash — hey ? 
ha, ha, ha ! What an old fool, to be afraid of such a little 
pale-face as you ! " 

"I tell you what it is, Mr. Edgarton, I am pretty 
strong and gritty, and he knew he would catch it." 

" O, you little fighting-cock, you! I guess you will 
do for the navy, after all. I shall shell out about five 
hundred." 



112 THH VICTORY. 

" If you do, I will fight you, if ever I get large 
enough ! I '11 give you one gun, a realrouser, andl will 
blow you up now ! " 

'" 1 am so large that you cannot blow me up very 
high ; so I don't tremble a bit If you had a chair, I 
might be frightened, — ha, ha, ha ! " 

" I hope not, I am sure." 

" But you scared the deacon — good ! I like you all 
the better lor it I like to see a little spunk. The old 
fool, to be frightened at a boy with a chair ! — ha, ha, ha, 
ha ! what a coward ! He says that you are a terrible 
wicked chap — ' prone to evil as the sparks fly upwards.' 
Don't you think he feels badly, because you are so 
wicked — hey ? Won't he pray for you before he goes 
to bed to-night ? — ha, ha, ha ! " and he gave me two or 
three nudges and punches in my sides, as he went on 
talking and laughing. 

" Well, Mr. Edgarton, I want a true friend, just now ; 
and you must stand by me." 

"Never fear — never fear! I'll put you through 
safe. But don't go yet. Tou.han't been into the house. 
I '11 tell ye what, you shall stop to dinner, and I will kill 
one of my best chickens, — so walk in." 

I could not say no to such a warm-hearted invitation, 
and I remained till after dinner. We had a merry time ; 
for, every little while, Mr. Edgarton would burst oat 
about the chair and the deacon, and laugh as hearty as 



*HE VICTORY. 113 

ever. He said it was no wonder that my mother wanted 
to pat me into the navy, when I could frighten a big, 
old, black deacon with a chair ! 

After some more useless controversy and hard talk 
with my mother about the navy, the whole matter was 
dropped, greatly to my satisfaction ; for I had won the 
victory, and for the future had little to fear. 
10* 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE IMPENDING DOOM. 

I was still comparatively weak, and my health far 
from good. My system had received a severe shock, and 
I had taken .too many poisonous medicines to allow me 
to cherish any reasonable hope of being well at present. 
After a few weeks devoted to work and play, I retained 
to my books and school. 

The deacon still visited my mother, and his calls 
became more frequent and protracted. They were 
together every day and evening. This was alarming, — 
but what could I do ? At last, Jane, much to my satis- 
faction, broached the subject to me, and expressed her 
fears that it was their intention to marry soon. She 
thought the children ought to use their influence to pre- 
vent it, if possible. She informed me that the other 
children .were very anxious to escape a calamity so much 
to be dreaded. 

As much as they had clung to mother and blamed me, 
they could not bear the idea that Deacon Webber should 
ever hold the relation of a father-in-law to them. They 



tad no more confidence in him than L There had 
keen more cordiality between them and me, of late ; for 
Jane and Mrs. Stewart labored to show them how mat- 
ters stood, and that I was not bo much to blame as 
they had supposed, having only heard one side of the 
question. It was at length decided that we should con* 
suit together as to the best means to be used to accom- 
plish the object in view, the prevention of a great evil. I 
found them all determined to oppose the marriage, if one 
was intended, and not at all inclined to own the deacon a 
relative of theirs. Here was union, for once ; and we 
resolved to remonstrate with mother on the impropriety, 
folly, ay, madness of uniting her destiny with his. 

Our meeting was not entirely in vain, for a mutual 
reconciliation took place. I heartily rejoiced at this, for 
I knew that we should all be better and happier. My 
heart yearned, when not embittered by contention, for 
their sympathy and love. I had often felt that our feel- 
ings and treatment of each other were unnatural and 
wicked. It was always painful to Mrs. Stewart, and she 
labored hard to remove the evil. 

During our interview, Thomas expressed a wish, which 
was seconded by the rest, that I should give them all the 
fects in relation to Helen Means. I complied with their 
request, and gave them the whole story, and the part I 
had acted in it. When they had heard -me through, they 
latterly regretted -the course they had taken. I was 



116 THE IMPENDING BOOM. 

rejoiced to find that they were better at heart than I 
anticipated, and they were pleased to learn that I was a 
worthy of confidence and love. 

They now felt more keenly than ever the utter impos- 
sibility of any other result but misery, deep and lasting, 
from a union between the deacon and mother. 

The next day, the presence of my mother was requested 
in the same room where I had twice been summoned. Our 
relative positions had changed, for I had now summoned 
her. She started and became very pale when she saw who 
were present. I read her thoughts at a glance, and she 
probably read ours. Lizzy handed her a chair, and asked 
her to sit down. 

" This is a strange proceeding," Bhe remarked; " a for- 
mal summons from my own children. What does this 
mean?" 

" We think," said Thomas, with some hesitation, " that 
we have something of deep and vital importance to say to 
you, — important to your welfare, and vitally important 
to ours!" 

"I should suppose so by your looks," she replied. 
" What can be the nature of it? for your course is unu- 
sual-and strange." 

<c The mystery will soon be solved, mother. We wish 
to talk with you of Deacon Webber and yourself/' 
Thomas continued. 

" I am ready to hear all you have to offer," she replied. 



THE IMPENDING BOOM. 117 

"The intimacy between you and Deacon Webber has 
caused us to feel much anxiety for the welfare of the fam- 
ily. Since Mrs. Webber's death, he has called to see you 
almost every day or evening. What his object is we 
bow not ; bnt we think it must be of a serious character, 
for of late nearly half of his time is spent with you." 

"What is that to you ?" she said, biting her lips. 

" We wish to know whether rumor tells the truth, that 
you have engaged to marry Deacon Webber." 

" Well, auppdsing I have, — what then ? " 

"If it is so, mother, or you have any such thought or 
intention, we beg of you, if not for your own welfare, for 
the welfare of your children and friends, to pause and 
reflect The step once taken, can never be recalled." 

" I shall not ask my children whether I shall marry or 
not I think I know as well what my own welfare is as 
you. I think I know as well what is for your good. I 
am old enough to take care of myself, and regulate my 
own affairs ; and when I wish for advice, especially from 
my children, I will let them know it." 

" But we beseech you to hear us, and not act hastily in 
this matter. We do not know that it 's your intention to 
marry Deacon Webber ; but, if it is, we feel called^upon 
to utter our most solemn protest against it. We cannot 
but regard such a step with the deepest abhorrence." 

" Pretty children, you are ! to talk thus to your 



118 THE IMPENDING DOOM. 

mother. I expected nothing better from Henri, for h& 
has ever thwarted my wishes when in his power. Bat? 
I did expect different treatment from the rest of you. 
You are now united to drive me from my purpose ; but 
you shall not succeed. I shall do my duty, in spite of 
your threats. The salvation of this house may depend 
on this union." 

" I should think that the word ruin would convey the 
idea better," I remarked. 

" Keep your evil tongue still, Henri ! I have had 
enough of your impudence already ! " 

" I merely made the suggestion, thinking that the mis- 
take would be very natural, under the circumstances. We 
are sure that utter ruin would be the result We cannot 
say less than this." 

" I shall hear no more from any of you. You are all an 
ungrateful set ; and, instead of giving heed to your wishes, 
I shall consult my own happiness, and the welfare of those 
who are leagued against me. • Go about your business, 
every one of you, and don't mention the subject to me 
again ! " 

" We have not said a tithe of what we wish to say," 
remarked Thomas. 

" You have said too much, already, and I '11 hear no 
more ! " She now left us, shutting the door after her with 
great violence. Thus it was made plain to us that she had 



THE IMPENDING DOOM. 119 

determined to many Deacon Webber, and naught that we 
1 do or say would alter her fatal resolution. We all 
;it best, after consulting our guardian, to remain 
at home, for the sake of George and Charlotte, who were 
too young to leave it 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE MARRIAGE AND ITS RESULTS. 

Thanksgiving days in past years had been days of 
pleasure to us. A number of relatives usually gathered 
at our house; so that, with good company and good cheer, 
we regarded the day as our annual jubilee. How different 
. were our feelings this year, as Thanksgiving day ap- 
proached ! It seemed to be shrouded in gloom and misery. 
I need not tell you that it was the appointed time for the 
marriage of mother and Deacon Webber. A large company 
assembled, on the evening of that day, to witness what 
seemed to me a horrible farce. For a brief period, all 
went well ; but in a few months our home, bad enough be- 
fore, became a place scarcely endurable. How gloomy, 
how dark, were those long winter months ! It seemed as 
though they would last forever. At least, our home, I 
thought, will never know spring-time and Bummer again. 

The deacon came to our house, with his whole family 
consisting of two sons and three daughters; and they 
were worthy of their sire, with the exception of the babe, 



THB MAttEIAGB AMD ITS BBSULTS. 121 

who grew every day more beautiful, and Mrs. Stewart, 
Laving the whole care of her, loved her dearly. And we 
all loved little Katy, notwithstanding the hatred we bore 
her father. His other children were too much like himself 
to merit our regard, or win our affection and esteem. The 
elder brother and sister were professors of religion, and 
as wicked as they were pious. They kept the Sabbath 
strictly, attended all the religious meetings, and made 
great pretensions to godliness; but that was as far as 
their piety went. As to practical religion, and Christ- 
like goodness, they knew nothing about them, and cared 
less. Their idea of Christianity was this, — to live so as 
to escape the miseries of hell and gain the bliss and glory 
of heaven; an idea not one whit in advance of the 
heathen. They would have called St. James' exposition 
of pure and undefiled religion, before God the Father, 
mere morality, scarcely worthy of the notice of Christians. 

It is bad enough, always, to bring together in this way 
two sets of children ; but in our case it was madness. 
Sometimes we had a regular pitched battle, beginning in 
words and ending in blows. These conflicts were not con- 
fined alone to me. 

In the summer following the marriage, Mrs. Stewart, 
at the request of my mother, made a rich cake for Rose 
Webber, the youngest but one of the deacon's children, 
to carry to a children's pic-nie. But she r being a very 
greedy child, and having never been accustomed to rich 
11 



122 THK MARRIAGE AND PES RESULTS. 

cake, cut off a slice and ate it. Soon after, feeling hun- 
gry, I went to the cupboard for a luncheon ; and seeing 
the cake, and not knowing for whom it was made, I very 
carelessly took it up and broke off a piece, that did not 
look as though it came from the hands of a mother-in-law* 
With the cake, and a generous slice of cheese, I sat down 
to regale myself at my leisure, when in came Rose, after 
her cake. She was furious when she saw what I had 
done. She sprang at me like a young tigress, snatching 
the cake from my hand and throwing it upon the floor. 
"Thief! Thief ! " she cried. 

" Don't call me a thief," said I, " or I will teach you 
better manners ! " 

" You are a thief, old Hen Eaton, and I will tell my 
father of you ! " So saying, she snatched the cake from 
the floor, and threw it in my face. 

I was exasperated beyonct endurance. I caught her, 
and boxed her ears until she promised better fashions. 
But I soon had the whole pack upon me, and a regular 
fight ensued, when I should have got most roughly han- 
dled, if brother Thomas had not come to my relief. After 
some hard knocks, we were separated by Mrs. Stewart. 

She was the same good soul, amid all this din and con- 
fusion. But, if it had not been for her great love for ma 
and her attachment to little Katy, who seemed to regan 
her as a mother, and a promise to my father, she woul 



THE MARRIAGE AND ITS RESULTS, 123 

have left ns; for her whole soul abhorred this miserable 
strife and confusion. 

Whatever might be said of my mother in other respects, 
she was never mean and close. She spent her money 
freely for everything that was really needful; and as 
many of the luxuries of life were provided for herself and 
fimily as were desirable. She freely gave for purposes 
of charity, for the support of the gospel, and she was 
ever anxious to fully remunerate those who toiled for her 
or hers. 

The deacon was the reverse of this, with the exception 
of what he gave for religious purposes. In matters of 
religion he seemed to be very liberal. With a soul so 
little, a disposition so mean, he could not patiently sub- 
mit to our manner of life. He was ever fretting about 
our useless extravagance. "Every day," he said, "a 
large amount is wasted, which ought to be used for 
pious purposes, — to send the gospel to the heathen, and 
furnish the poor with Bibles." If he had seen a man 
starving, I think he would have prescribed a Bible or a 
religious tract, instead of giving him something to eat. 
If people complained of destitution, they must trust in the 
Lord. All this was mortifying to mother ; for she began 
to realize that he was not that perfect pattern she had 
supposed him to be. I sometimes thought she despised 
his mean, niggard soul. * 

She witnessed some of his diabolical temper, not only 



124 THE MARRIAGE AND ITS RESULTS. 

irith his own children, but with hers also. I felt that st$ i 
would soon get enough of him ; — at least, I hoped so. , ,/£ 

Soon after he had taken up his abode with us, with his : v>- 1 
Ishmaelitish tribe, he and Job, his youngest son, were 
engaged in chopping wood at the door. Job was cutting 
small, round wood. While thus engaged, a stick which he 
had struck rather carelessly flew and hit his father on 
the head, and almost knocked him down. The deacon was 
enraged; he caught up the stick of wood, and laid it oyer 
poor Job in a most savage manner, and he did not stop 
until mother interfered. As it was, Job was laid up for 
nearly a week. He once gave my sister Charlotte a blow 
which sent her reeling- to the floor, because she did not 
fill his filthy black pipe as he desired it to be done. I 
was not at home at the time ; but it created a great uproar, 
nevertheless. My brothers threatened, and my sisters wept ; 
while r Hezekiah and Hannah stood by and mocked them, 
—the unfeeling wretches ! 

The deacon had cautioned us all to be careful and lock 
the stable-doors at night ; for a number of horses had been 
stolen, of late, in our town and the towns adjoining. l£y 
youngest brother, George, accidentally left the door un- 
locked, and the deacon's best horse was stolen. 

The first time Thomas and myself were absent, the 
deacon took him down cellar, and beat him in a most hor- 
rible manner. I returned, soon after, and found Mrs. 
Stewart in tears. I asked the cause. She led me to 



THE MARKIAGE AND ITS RESULTS. 125 

>, who lay groaning in his bed. When I looked at 
iis bleeding back, I sir ore revenge. Mrs. Stewart begged 
me to desist, bat I would not listen. I armed myself 
e*ff with a cowhide, and rushed into the room where the dea- 
J con was sitting with my mother, explaining to her the 
' necessity of what he called a severe chastisement. I gave 
him blow after blow, in rapid succession, until I felled him 
to the floor. . My mother screamed, and jn rushed Job 
and Hannah. " Assassin !" said Job, an<J he and Han- 
| nah collared me, and attempted to take ; the cowhide bom 
I me. I struck Job with it in such a manner that he was 
glad to let go his hold. They both left the room in ter- 
ror, as if they thought me mad, and it was daBgerous to 
remain in my presence. I was ho)*6r r struck -at what I 
had done, and I caught my hat and fled. I met Mrs. 
Stewart as I rushed from die house, who inquired, in a 
tone of agony, what was the mattejT I did not answer, 
but ran for dear life, without -sUekemng&y pace, until I 
bad gone more than a mile, whin J sank down, from sheer 
exhaustion. < 

As I lay upon the ground, I had ample time for reflec- 
tion. Not very pleasant thoughts ^thronged my mind. 
What if I had killed Deacon -Webber V How horrible it 
would be to die for such a scoundrel ! Then I thotigEt it 
could not be possible that I had killed ton/ I hoped not, 
at least. What would be the result of ^this, if he lived ? 
What would they do to me? I fancied I did not care 
11* 



126 TOE MARRIAGE AND ITS RE6UI4& 

much. The deacon needed a lesson long ago, and lie 1 
received it at last Mr. Edgarton would say now that ■ 
had settled that " long bill." 

But what should I do, under such unfortunate circunt- 
stances? I must not return home, — that I decided at 
once ; and yet it was almost night I resolved to go to 
my uncle's immediately, as quickly as my feet would 
carry me there. Night soon Game on, and often was I 
obliged to stop and inquire my way. It was very dark, 
and twice I mistook the road, and went some distance in 
a wrong direction. It seemed cruel to be obliged to 
retrace my step*. 

It was one o'clock when I reached my uncle's house. 
! how glad I was, for I was weary, hungry and cold. 
They were all fast locked in the arms of sleep ; but I 
quickly aroused them. Greatly surprised were they to 
see me at that hour of the night; and more surprised 
still, when they learned that I had come on foot and 
alone. After partaking of a substantial supper, I told 
them my story. They rather blamed me, and Helen chided 
not a little. True, they were shocked at the horrid 
brutality of the deacon ; but they would not justify me 
for being brutal also. It was decided that I must not 
return home, — at least, for the present. 



CHAPTER X. 



NEWS FROM HOME. 



After I had been at my uncle's two weeks, and not 
iearing a word from home, I wrote to Jane ; and received 
fte following letter in reply : 

" 0, Henri ! how glad I was to Beat from you ! We 
"were very anxions on your account; for we knew not 
"what had become of you, but were in hopes you had 
" gone to uncle's. How glad I am that you have a place 
"to flee to, where you can find a good home ; for you 
"cannot return here again ! Why did mother ever marry 
"that terrible man ? I will answer your inquiries as well 
"as I am able. 

"The deacon's head was badly hurt; but he revived in 
" a few minutes after you left, and rushed out in search ' 
"of you, looking like a wild maniac. He said that he 
"would have your heart's blood, and send your black 
"soul shrieking down to hell! It was terrible to see 
"him rave. Mother tried to pacify him ; but he thrust 
"her from him with great violence, while his eyes shot 
"gleams of bitter hatred. When he found that you had 



128 NEWS PROM HOME. 

" fled beyond his reach, he raved still more. I will not 
"repeat his horrible words, for the thought of them 
" makes me sick. At last he sank down exhausted, and 
" mother washed and dressed his head, all of the time 
" weeping bitterly, George is getting well fast. He was 
" most shamefully whipped. In his sleep he often live* 
" over again that fearful scene in the cellar. First h© 
"prays for mercy; then curses his tormentor, anct 
" threatens terrible vengeance. Your suggestion, that 
" our damnation would be the result of this marriage, has 
" proved true; for it has been, so far, and the future is 
" all dark. I shudder to think what kind of dispositions 
" we shall have, if this state of things continues. I won- 
" der not that, you thought of vengeance, when you looked 
" upon the many wounds and bruises of your poor 
"brother; and yet I cannot justify you in taking such 
"vengeance. 0, Henri! it is horrible! Only think, 
"your mother's husband ! 

"Job was not much hurt, but considerably frightened. 
"What strength you have when angry, and what a 
" temper you have ! You are too passionate. You must 
" learn to govern your temper, and curb your passions, 
" or you will some day rush headlong to destruction. 
" Begin now, dear brother ; — now, before it is too late ! 

" The tumult, had subsided when Thomas returned. 
" He was greatly excited when told what had taken place. 
" He said that hanging would be too good for the deacon ; 



NEWS FROM BOMB. 129 

"for no punishment was bad enough for such a brutal 
"wretch! 

" If George had purposely left the door open or un- 

" locked, it would have been different. I fear that boys 

" often suffer severely for doing what every one is liable 

" to do. George turned the key, he says, and thought 

" the door was locked ; and most likely it was, for a false 

"key might have been used. The deacon was deterred 

"from sending an officer after you by the threats of 

" Thomas ; who told him that if he moved an inch in the 

"matter, he would bring the whole subject" before the 

" church, and also , make him feel the full force of the 

" law for his abuse of Greorge. He is a miserable coward, 

" and fears the loss of his reputation for piety and godli- 

" ness ! X don't think that he would feel his soul at all 

" safe out of the church. They say he talked beautifully 

"last night at the prayer-meeting; and I suppose he 

"might have said some good things, for it is not a very 

" difficult matter. The devil, it is said, can change him- 

" self into an angel of light The deacon has been a 

" hypocrite so long, that he truly thinks himself a good 

" man, and one of the elect. I do not wish that he should 

" be cast into the pit ; but, in spite of my peculiar views, 

"I sometimes think it a fitting place for him. Wicked, 

" am I not ? Such thoughts do not stay long in my head, 

"and my heart always rejects them. 

" Mrs. Stewart sends her love to her dear Henri, and 



130 NEWS FROM HOME. 

"lopes he will become a better boy, and not allow his 
" passions to rage so fearfully. She says that you have 
" one of the best of hearts ; but your passions are so vio- 
lent that one can hardly feel safe in your presence! 
" She hopes that you will never return here again ; at 
" least, while Deacon Webber lives ; for she is fearful that 
" blood would be shed, should you meet again. I tell 
" her that some blood was shed when you last met. Mrs. 
" Stewart would leave here now, I think, if it were not 
" for little Katy. She is rather imaginative, and she 
" will have it that Katy looks like her lost Lelia. She 
" is always talking of Lelia and you. Poor woman, — I 
"pity her ! 

"You will not be surprised to learn that the Eatons 
" and Webbers detest each other more than ever now. 
"The pious Hezekiah and Hannah are getting to be 
" more pious and more wicked. Chips of the old block ! 
" you would say. 0, what a beautiful life we lead ! 
" The deacon makes longer prayers than ever, and says 
" grace at every meal ! If he should go to that wickei 
" place, — to which you, of course, are doomed,-— I thint 
" he would say his prayers even there. 

" I want to see Helen Means very much. I caa- 
" realize now how fearfully she must have suffered ; and— 
" I thank you, from my heart, for rescuing her from th^ 
" monster who held her in his grasp. That was a nob] 
" deed, and Heaven will bless you for it. 



NEWS FROM HOME. 131 

"Mr. Edgarton has been to see the deacon; and he 
" says that he gave him a piece of his mind, and told 
" him not to strike an Eaton again. ' That Henri/ said 
"he, ' is the spunkiest little chap that I ever laid my 
" eyes on ! Why, the little rascal said that he meant to 
" settle the deacon's long bill to his own satisfaction ; Jia ! 
" ha, ha ! and, by hokie, he ? s done it ! ' But my sheet 
"is full. G<x>d-by. Jane." 

My dear, good sister ! how I thanked her for this letter ! 
I will try to reform my habits, for your sake, thought I ; 
and for the sake of all the dear ones who love me ! 

I was better satisfied with the contents of the letter than 

I expected to be. They were certainly bad enough, but 

I was thankful they were no worse. * I resolved to remain 

•where I was for the present. My uncle and aunt were 

very obliging and kind ; they could not have been more 

faithful in their care and attention to a dear child than 

they were to me. They delighted to do good, and make 

everybody around them happy. As for Helen, she was 

becoming every day more interesting. We attended the 

same school, and at home pursued our studies in company. 

And thus the cold days of winter passed pleasantly and 

rapidly away. 



CHAPTER XI. 

AN OLD ENEMY. 

When" spring came, Helen and I often rambled 11 
fields gathering flowers, and when weary resting 1 
some beautiful shady tree. I never had been so h 
before. I was with those who loved me, and wh 
loved, in return, with all the warm ardor of my impe 
nature. I did not live now in the midst of jarrinj 
cords, but of beautiful harmony. I should have 
quite happy, if it had not been for thoughts of horn 
the past I knew that, while I was so richly bles 
brothers and sisters were miserable. 

One summer evening, after a heavy thunder-sh 
Helen and I were taking one of our accustomed ran 
delighted with the thousand beautiful things which gi 
us on every hand. It had not rained for many 
before, and the earth was dry and parched with hea 
trees were dusty, and the air oppressive. After two 1 
rain, what a change ! The air was sweet and fires! 
leaves and grass clean and beautiful. The little riv 
which had almost dried up, leaped forth again, se 
their old haunts among the flowers, laughing and si] 



AH OLD ENEMY. 188 

« % vent on their way. All nature looked refreshed 

tod joyous, and the birds sang most sweetly their evening 



As we were walking along, drinking in the harmony 
and beauty so lavishly spread around us, we unexpect- 
edly encountered the villain from whom I rescued Helen 
the first time I ever saw her. His looks showed that he 
had continued the downward course of sin ; for his ap- 
pearance was repulsive, and his whole aspect forbidding. 

" Ha ! my old friend, Mr. Eaton ! " he said. " Glad 
to see you, boy. We have an account to settle, and 

c Now 'a the day, and now 's the Hour.' 

Come, my young gentleman, you may get ready for such 
* licking as you never had before ! " 

I expostulated, and Helen begged of Him to go peace- 
fully away, and allow us to do the same. He gave a 
coarse laugh, — said that she was a beauty, and he liked 
her, and then made a most insulting and brutal proposal, 
as the only condition of my escape. This threw me into 
a violent passion, and my Wood was up in a moment. 

"You vile wretch, begone! " I cried, "or you will 
&re worse than you did before." 

"I know it," he said, and he gave another brutal 

laugh, and sprang at me with tiger-like ferocity. After 

I tad received one or two blows, and struck him as many, 

ty a lucky hit I laid him at my feet. He arose quickly, 

12 



184 AN OLD ENEMY. 

somewhat weakened, and came at me once more, when I 
again knocked him down and sprang upon him; bat, as 
he promised better fashions, I desisted, and he arose and 
hastened awaj, frequently looking back, as though hfl 
was strongly inclined to try his hand once more. 

I now turned to Helen, and she was deathly pale, and 
she gladly leaned on me for support This was a diver- 
sion which we had not looked for, and which seemed not 
exactly appropriate for the occasion. It interrupted a 
very pleasant train of thought and conversation, — sev- 
ered a golden chain, which could not then well be 
reunited ; so we turned our course towards home. 

" You tremble, Helen," said I, " but you need not 
fear." 

"I was afraid you would be killed. Are you not 
badly hurt?" 

" Not very, — just a little bruised, that 's all." 

" I hope we shall never see him again. How brutal h^ 
is!" 

" He seems to be perfectly abandoned." 

II How strange that he should act so ! " 

" I did not know but that I should require your help^ 
as of yore." 

" I am glad you did not." 

" Why so ? Would it hurt your feelings to take ^ 
stone and pound his head? " 



AN OLD ENEMY. 135 

" Yes, very much. I don't think that I should have 
hart him much." 

"I suppose not; but you hit him hard, the other 
time." 

" I know I did ; but it would be more difficult now." 

" Well, Helen, I am glad it is so. I am sorry that I 
was obliged to strike him with such fury, but he would 
have it so. He won't care about another fight with me." 

" But he may seek some means to be revenged upon 
you." 

" I hope not, for I do not wish him harm." 

In due time we arrived at home ; when it was found, 
on examination, that I had some superfluous bumps, but 
the skin tfas not broken, and I was not much injured. 

We saw our foe after that under different circum- 
stances, and learned his name and history. He was the 
only child of a Mr. Austin, — of whom the reader will 
learn more, by and by. At the time we saw him, he was 
in prison, awaiting his trial for highway robbery and 
murder. He was convicted and executed. We visited him 
before and after his conviction, and then my enmity had 
ceased, and we did all that was in our power to smooth his 
pathway to the grave. He was melted by our kindness, 
and wished us to pardon him. When I told him that 
Helen was the little ragged girl who once lived with 
Beacon Webber, and whom I delivered out of his hands, 
he was greatly astonished. When we last saw him he 



186 AIT OLD ENEMY. 

looked very miserable, bat said that he felt resigned to 
his fate, and trusted in the mercy of God. He was 
weeping when we bade him a final farewell, and clung to 
our hands, as though we had the power to save him. My 
interviews with him had a beneficial influence upon me, 
and I resolved to curb my passions, and keep them in 
their place. 

During this time, I frequently received letters from 
home, and things went on pretty much as they did before 

I left it. I will not pain the reader by relating the scenes 
which there transpired, but will close this chapter with a 
letter from brother Thomas. If there are expressions in 
Jane's or Thomas' letters which manifest a bad spirit, 
let the reader remember the circumstances by which they 
were surrounded. Circumstances will account for a 
lack of parental respect, and unchristian thought and 
allusions. 

" I have a little bit of news for you, Henri, which, I 
" think, will remind you of old times, and please you into 
" the bargain. You know that we children formed the 
"determination not to be drudges to the deacon, and I 
" made bold to tell him so. Some two months since, he 
" brought home a little girl, whom he took from the poor- 
" house in a neighboring town. She looked bad enough, 
" when she came ; but the saintly deacon must make her 

II look worse, if possible. Mrs. Stewart was sadly in his 



AN OLD ENEMY. 187 

" way ; for she would be feeding and clothing her, making 

" her garments out of her old ones, and always keeping 

" her looking tidy and decent What a kind and chari- 

" table woman she is,— always doing good ! Mrs. Stew- 

" art's care did not save the poor child from cruel abuse. 

" If she did anything wrong, or the deacon imagined she 

" had done wrong (and his imagination in that line is 

" remarkably powerful), a brutal whipping was sure to 

" follow. Mother thought the whippings were too severe, 

"but he told her they were vitally requisite to the 

" child's welfare. The fact is, he must have something 

" to beat and mangle, — it is his nature, as much so as it 

"is the nature of the wolf to bite. We determined, 

" however, that this should not last long. The deacon 

"liked it too well, and we knew what was sport to 

" him was death to the child. A most brutal exhibition 

" of his diabolical passion and cruelty decided us to put 

" our plan into execution at once. Mary Flinn is awk- 

" ward and clumsy. She had the misfortune to fell with 

" a waiter of crockery, proving herself a decided piece- 

il maker, — but one who did not receive a blessing to be 

" coveted. The deacon was in the house at the time ; 

11 and when he saw the broken dishes, he beat her fear- 

" fully. He cut and bruised her most shamefully. Mrs; 

" Stewart, Jane and Lizzy, begged of him to stop ; but it 

"only inflamed the passions of this fiend still more. 

(< Mother interfered, at last, and saved the poor thing 

12* 



188 AN OLD ENEMY. 

" from further outrage. If I had been there, I know not 
" what I should have done. It was well for the deacon 
" that jou were not present. Would n't there have been 
"an uproar? 

- " I had corresponded with a friend who was in search 
"of a little girl, and I wrote him in relation to the 
"late horrible aflair, requesting him to meet me at a 
" given time and place, and take Mary home with him. 
" She is now twenty-five miles from here, and has a good 
" home. What a time we had, when the deacon learned 
" that fehe was gone ! His rage was beautifuL It would 
" have done you good to have seen him. He threatened 
" to turn us all out of doors ; but the old interloper can't 
" do it, and he knows it. 

" I am happy to inform you that Hannah Webber is 
" married. Hezekiah is to be married soon, and is to 
" live on the old place. It would please me better if he 
" would remove to his i own place.' Jane is engaged to 
"a gentleman every way worthy of her. Mother's 
"health is very poor, — she looks pale and miserable. 
" She stands in great fear of her charming husband, and 
"I really believe despises him. Good! good! — don't 
" you say so? I suppose my letter is sufficiently long ; 
" so, good-by. When the deacon is dead I will give you 
" an invitation to .come — home. 

" Thomas Eaton." 



CHAPTER XII. 

WELCOME VISITOBS. — MBS. STEWART'S STOBT. 

Two years passed away, and I had not seen any of the 
members of our family, excepting my brothers. One 
slimmer afternoon, the stage stopped at the door of my 
uncle's, when out jumped Mrs. Stewart and my sister 
Jane. 0, how glad I was to see them ! I rushed into 
their arms, and kissed them again and again, with passion- 
ate delight. The joy seemed mutual. They expressed 
surprise in seeing me look so healthy, and remarked that 
I had grown very large and handsome. This flattery, or 
praise, sounded pleasantly enough in my ears; for, I am 
not ashamed to confess it, that I ever had a strong desire 
for true manly beauty. It is fashionable, I know, in the 
pulpit and out of it, to preach about the vanity of such 
things; and yet the preachers — both pulpit and lay — 
are as well pleased with the flattering words, which some-, 
times greet their ears, as the bright-eyed blooming girl, 
whom everybody styles the beauty of her native village. 

Mrs. Stewart looked more careworn than I had ever 
seen her before, while sister Jane had grown more inter- 
esting ; but over her face passed frequently an expression 



140 WELCOME VISITORS. — MRS. STEWART'S STORY. 

of sadness, reminding one of a spring day, when the 
clouds ever and anon pass over the face of the sun, hiding 
its beaming smiles, which make the world look so glad 
and golden. But, nevertheless, her appearance was 
decidedly interesting. Tou could read in her aspect the 
dear, good-hearted girl, whose presence would always 
cause more sunshine than shadow. 

Helen was absent when they arrived; she came home 
soon after, and I was proud to introduce her as the one I 
had rescued from Deacon Webber's tyranny. Mrs. Stew- 
art started when she took her hand and gazed into her 
beautiful face, which at that moment brightened with 
child-like reverence and admiration. I wished myself in 
their places, when she and Jane pressed her to their 
hearts, and imprinted warm kisses upon her red lips. A 
strong friendship^ immediately sprang up between the 
parties, which was a source of happiness to us all. I felt 
proud of my sister, who was a number of years Helen's 
senior, when I saw how well they loved each other. 
Many pleasant rambles did we enjoy during their fort- 
night's visit, and the time passed rapidly and pleasantly 
away. 

They gave us a history of home affairs, which had 
undergone no improvement since I left. It was interest- 
ing, but sad. Little Katy was still the same dear, affec- 
tionate creature, though her father had used every means 
in his power to spoil her. His treatment of her had been 



WELCOME VISITORS. — MBS, STBWABT'S STOBY. 141 

such that there was no living being she feared so much. 
He frequently commanded her to bring something to him, 
— some article which he might or might not want. She 
would have obeyed him with alacrity, if she had not been 
afraid of him ; and because she did not, he would whip her, 
and make her still more fearful. She must be trained, he 
said, and disciplined while young, or she would be ruined 
for this world and for the next. When abused by her 
Either, she would ever fly to Mrs. Stewart, from whom 
she received so much sympathy and kindness that the 
evil eflect of her father's brutal treatment was, in a 
measure, neutralized. 

Finally, the deacon, after correcting her, would shut 
her up, lest she should run to Mrs. Stewart, and the good 
effects of her chastisement be destroyed. 

" Poor little Katy ! " said Jane ; " doomed to be brut- 
alized or die. Such abuse is too much for a sensitive, 
gentle creature, like her." , 

This brutality, to an affectionate little child, was 
almost enough to break the heart of Mrs. Stewart. The 
deacon thought it best not to interfere with my brothers 
and sisters in any other way than by fretting and scold- 
ing. My mother, who brought the great evil upon her- 
self and children, was every day becoming more sickly 
and sad. She wished, by this time, — so thought Mrs. 
Stewart, — that she had hearkened to their warnings. I 



142 welcome visitors. — mrs. Stewart's story. 

felt, as I listened, that she was to be pitied, doomed to 
spend her life with such a detestable wretch. 

Uncle took his carriage, and carried Mrs. Stewart and 
sister Jane home, and when he returned George and 
Charlotte came with him. While they were with us, we 
received a letter from Jane, stating that Deacon Webber 
had talked so insultingly to Mrs. Stewart, that she had 
left the house, and was boarding in the neighborhood. 
Uncle and aunt, very much to my satisfaction, resolved 
to offer her a home. He returned with George and 
Charlotte, and brought back Mrs. Stewart. She was 
affected to tears at her whole-hearted reception. 
\. "Here," said my aunt, "you shall have a home as 
long as you live; and we will all try to make it a happy 
home." 

" It is a happy home," said Helen, " always pleasant, 
always joyful." 

" A paradise," I observed. 

" With at least one angel in it, in your estimation," 
remarked my uncle. 

" And two, in yours," I replied. 

"Mrs. Stewart ought to be satisfied," said my aunt, 
" if your description is true. A happy, pleasant, joyful 
home, — a paradise with angels." 

" I thank you all," she replied. "If poor little Katy 
were here, I should be very happy." 



"WELCOME VISITORS. — MRS. STEWART'S STORY. 148 

"Why did the old rascal turn you out of doors ? " I 
inquired. 

"Do not speak in that manner, Henri," said Mrs. 
Stewart. " It is wrong, even about your enemies." 

" It is no more than the truth," I replied. 

"But the truth is not to be spoken at all times," 
observed my uncle. 

"Very true," replied Mrs. Stewart, " The deacon is 
the worst man I ever knew; but it is not well to call hard 
names. He was whipping Eaty in an unmerciful man- 
ner, for a most trivial offence. I looked on until I could 
bear it no longer, when I snatched her up in my arms 
and ran to my room, shut the door, and locked it. The 
deacon followed, and threatened to burst it open, if I did 
not unfasten it. After some parleying, I unlocked it, and 
he walked in. Little Eaty clung to me, and he did not 
offer to touch her, but heaped upon me abuse without 
measure, and ended by informing me that my room in 
the house was more desirable than my company. Know- 
ing that Jane would befriend Katy as much as I could, I 
immediately left and went to one of the neighbors, where I 
remained until Mr. Eaton came after me* 

"Poor little Katy! she will not trouble them many 
years. She is a delicate, sensitive child, arid with such 
usage as she receives she cannot live longf * How strange 
that a man should so abuse his own child f " 

"Not very strange," I remarked; "for perspns like 



144 WELCOME YISETOBS. — MBS. STEWARDS STORY. 

him must have somebody's child to abuse; and, as he is so 
very unfortunate in relation to those who are not his own, 
as a matter of course he must expend his cruelty upon 
his own children.' 1 

" I think he would like her better, if she had more of 
the Webber in her," said Mrs. Stewart " She is entirely 
different from his other children. They are rough, hard- 
hearted, brutal; but she is gentle and affectionate. I 
often held her to my heart, and thought of my lost Leba» 
! if the deacon would give her to me, to be all my own, 
the deep yearning in my heart for the lost one would be 
in a measure satisfied. But that wound, I fear, will not 
be healed until I am laid in my grave." Mrs. Stewart 
was here so overcome by her strong emotion that she 
burst into tears. " Let the thought console you," said 
mj aunt, " that yon will meet the dear child in heaven." 

" It does console me," she replied, "and I thank my 
God for the glorious hope." We all responded amen, 
and Mrs. Stewart's face beamed with the smile of recon- 
ciliation* 

A brief period now passed away, and not a word was 
spoken. I was the first to break silence. " You made 
me a promise, long ago," I said, " to tell "me the story 
of your husband and Lelia's death. Uncle, aunt and 
Helen, would all be glad to hear it ; and, if it would not 
be asking too much, I wish you would tell it now." 

"Not now, Henri," said my uncle, "You are not 



\ 



WELCOME VISITORS. — MRS- STEWART'S STORY. 145 

considerate at all. Better postpone it, Mrs. Stewart, and 
Dot harrow up your feelings again at present." 

"It is a painful story," said Mrs Stewart, "and really 
frightful. It is true that I have promised to tell it to 
Henri; and I would rather do it now, than to put it off 
any longer. When you have heard it, you will not be 
surprised that I sometimes weep." 

She now sat some minutes, as if in deep thought, her 
head upon her hand, while we kept perfect silenee. In 
due time, she began her startling narrative : 

" When I was twenty years old, I married Mr. Stewart, 
the man of my choice, — the only one I ever loved. I 
was not disappointed in him ; for he loved me faithfully, 
and so our home was happy, though humble. We both 
endeavored to do our whole duty, and our reward was 
peace and quiet happiness. We had but one child, and 
she was born four years' after our marriagfe. O! what a 
sweet little girl she was, with the softest flaxen hair, and 
lips and cheeks as red as roses! How much I loved that 
gentle child ! 

" How welcome was her tender embrace, and how sweet 
the kiss which she so often impressed upon my lips ! 
Sweeter than music was her childish prattle to me, and 
brighter than sunshine her angel presence. 

" My first great grief was when my husband died. It 
was a fearful blow; and I should have been stricken 
to the earth, if it had not been for my angel child. 
13 



146 WELCOME VISITORS. — MBS. STEWARDS STOBT. 

She was now my support, and more dear than ever. 
Alas ! I was doomed to lose her, and in a way overwhelm- 
ingly crushing to a mother's heart. Mr. Stewart had 
been dead but three months, when Lelia was lost to me 
forever in this world. I sent her to a neighbor's, on an 
errand, and she never returned. The alarm was quickly 
given, and, though the whole neighborhood was aroused, 
and the woods searched over and over again, still, she 
could not be found, and not a trace of her was discovered. 
My God ! what were my feelings when I knew that I 
must give up all hope ! I prayed for death. In my ter- 
rible anguish, I felt to curse my Maker, hoping that in 
his anger Be might strike me dead ! 

" Six months had passed away, and I had grown 
calm, and felt willing to drink the bitter cup which had 
been prepared for me. On such an evening as this, I sat 
alone in my little cottage, once so cheerful, now so dreary 
"and lonely. As I sat listening to the moan of the winds, 
suddenly I saw the outlines of a man. I knew that he 
could- not have come in at the door, and I covered my 
eyes, quaking with fear. I had no light but that which 
was emitted by a few coals that lay upon the hearth. 
When I uncovered my face, my husband stood before me, 
looking pale and sorrowful. I trembled violently, for I 
knew it was his ghost ! 

" My blood ran cold in my veins. I could not stir. I 
seemed glued to the chair, and my eyes were fixed on his, 



WELCOME VISITORS.— MRS. STEWART'S STORY. 147 

and in vain I tried to tarn them away. Although I was 
greatly frightened, I saw that he looked as if he wished 
to make known some important secret. He continued to 
gaze upon me for some moments, when, laying his hand 
upon his heart, he vanished from my sight. 

"After his departure, I queried with myself whether I 
had been dreaming. But I knew that I had not been 
asleep. I was as wide awake as I ever was, and I had 
seen James Stewart as plainly as I ever saw him in my 
life. My blood had almost frozen in my veins as I looked 
upon him. It could not be a dream. I sat some moments 
as motionless as a statue. At last I shrieked and fainted. 
When I came out of my fainting fit, I was stiff and 
Cold. I arose and staggered to my bed, crawled in, and 
soon fell asleep. The sun was high up in the heavens 
when I awoke. I arose, and, after taking some refresh- 
ments, walked out to reflect upon the fearful event of the 
last evening. 

" Directly to the east of my cottage, hid behind a hill, . 
was the house of Philip Austin, a man who, previous to * 
my acquaintance with my husband, sought my hand in 
marriage. I rejected his suit at once, but he continued 
to urge it for a number of months. When my husband 
began to visit me, and he saw that I encouraged his atten- 
tions, he was furious. He cursed me, in the bitter- 
ness of his heart, and swore that he would not die 
without revenge. He was married soon after we were, 



148 WELCOME VISITORS. — MRS. STEWARDS STORY. 

and, I supposed, he had forgotten his oath. I had 
noticed that, for some time past, be had studiously 
avoided me. Only once had he entered my house since 
my husband's death. When my child was missing, no 
one manifested so much ; zeal, seemingly, in trying to 
learn her fate, as he. I could not now keep him and his 
oath out of my mind. What could it mean ? Had he 
revenged himself by murdering my child ? I now recol- 
lected that he watched with Mr. Stewart on the night of 
his death. 

" I walked in the direction of Austin's house, and soon . 
saw him coming towards me. When he saw who I was, 
he halted, as though disposed to turn back ; then, as if 
ashamed of his cowardice, he came boldly forward, appar- 
ently as unconcerned as an innocent man. When we met, 
I looked him steadily in the face, as though I would read 
his soul. He quailed before me. His shrinking before 
the gaze of a timid woman emboldened me, and I said, 

" ' Philip Austin ! what have you done with my 
'child?' 

" What a change came over him, at these words ! His 
dark eyes glared with fearful hate, and his face became 
black with fury. He foamed at the mouth, so great was 
his rage. 

" l By all the powers of hell ! ' he exclaimed, c you shall 
pay dearly for this damnable charge ! ' 

" He sprang to the wall, and took off a stone, as though 



WELCOME VISITORS. — MRS. STEWART'S STORY. 149 

he would murder me on the spot But it suddenly 
dropped from his hands, and he fell upon his knees, 
trembling with fear. 

" ' God ! ' he cried, 'all bloody, as when I killed her ! 
Go away, — don't come near me ! See ! there is her 
father, looking as pale as when I gave him the poison ! ' 

"He arose, quaking in every limb, and foamed and 
ground his teeth like a madman. 

" ' Ha, ha ! ' he cried ; ' they are coming nearer, — see 
them! Look at that head where I beat it! She is 
coming to lay it against my face. Away ! Don't touch 
me! Mercy! Good God! Mercy! mercy! They 
are gone now. I did but dream. What did I say, 
Laura ? I did not mean it. I — I was driven to frenzy 
by your words ; but think no more of it. Ha ! they 
are coming again ! Keep them off! keep them off, for 
God's sake! 0, Stewart! Stewart! forgive me. He 
points to you. Yes — yes — I will ! — I will tell her 
ail!' 

"He nofr sank upon the ground from exhaustion, 
overcome with terror. When he had sufficiently recov- 
ered, he tQld his fearful story. He never allowed the 
thought of revenge to escape from him for a single 
moment. As my husband was dangerously ill, he 
thought it the best time to accomplish his purpose. To 
murder Mr. Stewart and escape suspicion, he proposed to 
watch with him when his recovery was considered doubt- 
13* 



150 WELCOME VISITOBS. — MBS. STEWART'S 8TQRT. 

fuL The doctor expected a change before morning. 
Daring the night he administered a deadly poison. 
Learning that I was happy with my child, — that she 
was a universal favorite, — he had decoyed her into the 
woods and killed her, and made her grave near the spot 
where he wrought the awful deed of blood. When he 
had finished his tale of horror, I turned from him with 
fearful loathing ; but he begged me not to leave him. 

" * See ! there they come again ! ' he cried. * O, God ! 
that bloody head ! It is coming close to me ! No, no ! 
do not touch me ! There, there ! go away, child, — go 
away, now ! Poor thing ! will the hlood never stop ? 
Will it always gush out so ? Laura ! my God! No, no ! 
God has forsaken me, long ago. Laura ! do, do keep him 
off ! Don't you see him ? Tell him to go, — he will 
mind you ! ' 

" Thus he raved on, the poor wretch, foaming with 
anguish the most terrible. Notwithstanding the evil he 
had wrought me, I pitied him. I accompanied him 
home, and he immediately took his bed, — to leave it but 
once more. After lingering a few days in mortal agony, 
he died. 0, how fearful it was for him, and how terrible 
it was for me ! He told us, as well as he could, where 
he had buried her body ; but we could never discover the 
spot. But no matter, — she is not there. 0! if — 
if » 

She was now so overcome that she could go no farther j 



WELCOME VISITOBS. — MBS. SIEWABT'S STOBY. 151 

bat wept, and wrung her hands in agony. We all wept 
in sympathy, and Helen arose and went to her, and 
threw her arms around her neck, and said, while the 
glittering drops rolled down her cheeks, 

" I will be your child, — your own dear child ! " 

" Then you are not to be our child any more," said my 
aunt, a good deal affected. 

Helen now left Mrs. Stewart, and went to Aunt 
Eaton, and, embracing her fondly, said, 

" I will be daughter to you both, — love you all, for 
you are all so good." 

"Spoken like my own b*ave girl!" said Uncle 
Eaton. " You shall love Mrs. Stewart as much as you 
wish, and be a daughter to her, and we will not be je*k 
ous of your affection. She needs consolation more than 
we do, for she has lost all she had." 

"And Henri," said Helen, "shall be your son," 
placing my hand in Mrs. Stewart's. 

" I am happy to have you for a mother," I said. " I 
have often wished that you held that endearing relation 
to me ; for I have always yearned for a mother's whole- 
hearted love. I know that you love me ; and I will always 
love you, and try to make you so happy that you will ever 
look forward with hope, and not backward with grief." 

" That 's right ! " said my aunt; " and, in seeking to 
make her happy, you will fill your own cup with joy." 

"I knew you would say so," remarked my uncle; 



152 WELCOME VISITORS.— MRS. STEWART'S STORY. 

" for you know by experience — it is the way to be happy 
in this world. Those who are so selfish that they never 
wish to do good to others, should not expect to taste the 
highest enjoyment. God has so ordered that those who 
strive, without selfishness, to help others, shall, at the 
same time, help themselves." 

Mrs. Stewart embraced us both, and now shed tears of 
joy. " God bless you, my dear children ! " she said, fer- 
vently ; "and, with your love, I will try to forget the 
anguish and sorrows of the past." 

We spent the remainder of the evening in pleasant 
and profitable conversation.; and when I retired to my 
bed, that night, I felt that I had great reason to be thank- 
ful, in spite of the thick gloom which had hitherto 
enshrouded my life. 0, that there were more faithful 
and loving hearts in this beautiful world of ours ! Where 
truth and love dwell there is pure joy. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE DEATH OP LITTLE KATY. 

Mrs. Stewabt had been with us but a few months, 
^ien I received a letter from sister Jane, announcing the 
3eath of little Katy. Here is the letter : 

"Deab Henri: I have sad news for Mrs. Stewart 

c Little Katy is dead ! The poor, dear thing always had 

c a sad look ; but, after Mrs. Stewart left us, she seemed 

:c sadder than ever. I tried to comfort the little mourner, 

:< and cheer her drooping spirits; but all in vain. She 

cc would nestle close to my heart, and seem to feel safe 

ct there; but, at the same time, large tears would roll 

(( down her pale cheeks. She never seemed like other 

(( children; and how different she was from her brothers 

" and sisters ! She always shrank from them, as if they 

"were her mortal enemies. Her father's presence 

" became so insupportable that she almost went into fits 

" when she heard him approaching. Day after day she 

" grew sadder and weaker ; and she clung so closely to me 

" that I loved her as though she had been iny own sister. 

" 0, how affectionate she was ! ' Can it be,' I thought, 



154 THE DEATH OF LITTLE KATY. 

" c that she is the child of Deacon Webber ? How unlike 
" him, — how unlike the. rest of the family ! ' I have 
" since learned that Mrs. Webber was a kind-hearted and 
" affectionate woman ; but she had very little energy, and 
" she stood in great fear of her husband. The education 
" which her children received, the treatment of children 
"who lived there, broke her heart; and, when death 
" came, she welcomed it as a messenger of mercy, — only 
" regretting that she must leave little Katy behind, to the 
" tender mercies of her unfeeling father. Well might 
" she regret, — well might she pray to live ! But she felt 
" that to live would be in vain ; for Katys mind and 
" heart must be moulded by other hands than her own. 
" Like her other children, she would only live to see her 
"warm affections chilled, her gentle nature hardened. 
" Must an unregenerate woman be left to guide thefoot- 
" steps of a child of one of the elect? No, no! fond 
" mother, you would jeopardize your child's soul ! 

" When the deacon saw how pale and sickly little Katy 
"looked, he blamed himself for having neglected her so 
" long. ' Mrs. Stewart,' said he, * has ruijied the child, 
" soul and body ! She shall not be made a fool of any 
"longer. She must have exercise, and good, strong, 
" wholesome food. Salt pork, beef, cabbage, potatoes 
" and coarse bread, will make her strong and well.' T 
" was forced to stand and look on, and see him attempt 
" to apply his remedies. Before sunrise in the morning 



THE DEATH OF LITTLE KATY. 155 

" he would make her leave her bed and take a long walk, 

" even when the cold easterly winds chilled her through 

" and through. At such times, she would return shaking 

f c with cold, her face wet with the burning tears of intense 

" suffering ; even then, she must not go to the fire,ibr 

" it was not wholesome. The deacon threatened in vain ; 

"the tears would flow. At breakfast, he would try to 

Cc force her to eat a hearty meal of detestable salt pork, 

" fat beef, or something, if possible, equally repugnant to 

c< asick child. With all the terror which he. inspired, 

Ct he could make her eat but little. In vain she tried to 

Cc force it down ; her poor, weak stomach would not receive 

Cc it. After breakfast he would set her to sweeping, and 

c * the dust, with his tobacco-smoke,* would bring on a 

c c violent fit of coughing. That, he said, was good for 

c c her, as it would start the phlegm from the lungs. 

" After Mrs. Stewart left, she slept with me, until her 
c * father had taken her under his especial care ; then he 
c ' would not permit it, and for a time she slept alone. 
c * You will not be surprised to learn, that after all this 
c * had been done, she failed faster than e\\er. One morn- 
c c ing, she was unable to leave her bed, and I took her in 
c < my arms and carried her and laid her in my own. 5flhe 
c * deacon was incensed when he learned what I had done ; 
c * but when he capie into the room, she so screamed with 
c< affright, and ckmg with such tenacity to my neck, that 
*'he thought it best to leave her to my care, muttering, ad 



156 XHB DEATH OF LITTLE KATT. 

" he departed, that the child was rained. I now had 
" sole care of her; and so affectionate and so grateful 
" the dear little thing, that I was as loth to leave he&. 
" side as she was to have me. One evening she lo< 
" at me very earnestly, and said, 

" l Jane, I shall die before many days! ' 

" 1 1 hope not,' I replied. ' Bat what makes 
" think yoa shall die V 

" l Because I have been sick so long.' After a s 
" pause, she continued, c I -dreamed, just now, that I c 
" and my body was put in the ground, butiigy soul i 
" to heaven ; and I felt very happy, for I saw my man 
" that you told me of last night ! ' 

" ' You must not think that you will die, because 
" dreamed that you were dead. People often dream 
" they are dead, and live many years after.' 

" c Yes, but I shall not. I shall never be well agi 

" c Do you wish to die ? ' 

" e Yes ; if I can go to heaven, where dear mamma 

" c Do you wish to leave me 7 ' 

"'No, dear Jane!' she replied, placing her a 
" around my neck, ' but father ! ' and she looked arc 
"as though she feared he might be listening, ' I wax 
" die, and go away from him ! 0, 1 hope he won't c 
" to heaven ! ' • y 

" l You should not hope so, Kaiy ; for, if he goc 
" heaven, he will be better than he is now.' 



THE DEATH OF LITTLH KATT. 15T 

c< l Is God in heaven, Jane? ' 
" l ^U * s everywhere.' 
*" r Atfd do you think he is good; and will he love 
Cc such a wicked child as I am, when I am dead ? ' 

" '.He loves all his creatures ; and little Children will 
€c all be <&red for by the Saviour. You are so good, that 
Cc the angels most love you ! What makes you think that 
* c you are wicked ? ' 

" ' Father says I am ; and says, if I should die now, I 
* should go to a bad place and there I should have to stay 
Cc fipever ! Butfl am sure God will not send m% there, 
c € if. he is good, — will he, Jane ? ' 

".? ^o, dearest. Do not be afraid of God; for he is 
c good to all. If you die, angels will take you and carry 
c c you to a happier world ! ' 

" * What is an angel, Jane ? ' 
^><*< Your mother is one, I trust. Angels are the spirits 
r c of flie departed.' n , 

- li 1 0, % hope mother wjlf come* after me ! I shall be 
c c so happy to* go with her ! I wish you and Mrs. Stewart 
c c widd go too, Jane ! ' 
^^*" I now told her that she must not talk any more; and 
c she soon^Fell asleep. The physician who was called 
; c Aid her disease baffled his skill, and he was fearful that 
lis prescriptions would be in vain. 
" Three days after, she died. When her lather was 
c told that his child was dying, he hastened to my room ; 
14 



158 THB DEATH OF LITTLE KATT. 

"but she seemed fearful of him, even then. She 
" whispered to me, — ' I most go ; mother is waiting for 
" me. Do not let him keep me ! 0, there are beautiftd 
" beings there, and I shall not be sick any more, I shall 
" be so happy ! ' 

" Her breath soon grew shorter, and ere long she was 
" dead, looking as though she had fallen into a quiet, 
" happy sleep. What a beautiful smile rested upon her 
" marble face ! Dear, dear child, she is now in heaven ! 
" I heard the deacon whisper to mother, as they turned 
" away from the bed of death, that he was sorry that she 
" had not given some evidence of the salvation of her soul ; 
"he feared she was lost, for she had always been a 
"stubborn child! 

" Lost ! the dear angel ! heaven has not a purer spirit ! 
" What a creed is his, and what a heart he must 
"have to believe it! Heaven deliver me from such a. 
" creed as that ! 

" It was a beautiful spring day when we laid her in the 
" silent grave, by the side of her mother. A willow 
" droops over the spot where she sleeps ; the grass grows 
" green by her side, and the flowers are springing fttt- 
" around her. Over her head the birds sing thfeir sweetest 
" songs. Twice have I been to her little grave, *n<i 
" bedewed it with my tears. But, thank God, she & 
" better off than to be here ! She has now found ber 
" mother. 0, the joy of a clear and beautiful hope in * 



THE DEATH OF LITTLE KATT. 159 

" glorious immortality ! l There the wicked cease from 
" troubling, and the weary are at rest.' 

" Our dear little Katy has bid us farewell, 
" And gone home to heaven, where bright spirits dwell ; 
" Her mourning is over, and hushed all her sighs, 
" On the wings of a seraph she soared to the skies. 

" Thy life, little Katy, was saddened with grief, 
" And tender affection could not bring relief ; 
" Thou hast found it in heaven, with angels so mild, — 
" The soft, loving bosom now pillows its child. 

" We weep not, dear Katy ! though brief was thy stay, 
" Thy Saviour has won thee, and called thee away ; 
" Thy mother enfolds thee, in love, as of yore, — 
" Thy sorrows are ended, thy trials are o'er. 

" 0, darling ! we miss thee, thou dear little dove, 
" But sweet is thy memory, embalmed in our love ; -r- 
" Good-by, then, dear Katy, so blest in the skies, 
" Enraptured in glory, with joy and surprise ! 

" Things remain very much the same here, excepting 
" that Hezekiah Webber is married, and moved on to his 
1 father's place ; for which we are very thankful, all but 
tl the deacon, who did not like to part with his hopeful 
* Bon. I wish he had gone further off, for now he has 
c< to call every day. Mother's health is failing quite fast. 
j C{ I do not think she has maify years to stay in this world. 
/The deacon is as ugiy and repulsive as ever, but I will 
"not pain you with a recital of his brutal deeds. 



160 THE DEATH OF LITTLE KATY. 

" This letter would be unpardonably long, if it did not 
"contain matter of interest to you and Mrs. Stewart. 
"I have been particular in giving the little incidents, 
" because I knew that Mrs. Stewart would want to know 
" all. I would have sent for you both, but I did not 
11 think it best Janb." 

When I read this letter to Mr& Stewart, she wept very 
freely ; but she felt reconciled, for Katy was free from her 
tormentor. She knew that the dear child was now in a 
brighter and better world. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 

was now time that I should turn my attention to 
ess ; for I was twenty years old, and I had not yet 
determined what I had better do in order to gain an 
it livelihood. I fancied that I should like to be a 
bant; so, through the assistance of my uncle, I was 
red, in the capacity of a clerk, to a merchant by 
lame of Dinneford, in the city of New York. As 
►usiness was not large, he employed but two clerks, 
a the arrangements had all been made for my de- 
ire, I bade my friends a warm adieu, and started for 
tew home. I noticed that Helen was much affected 
t we parted ; for, when she let go my hands, which 
lad held tightly in hers, she turned her head to hide 
ears. 

arrived in New York in due season, and was kindly 
ved by Mr. Dinneford. I was immediately intro- 
d to a young man by the name of Ernest Brown, 
had been some years in his employ. I found him to 
a honest-hearted fellow, but reserved, and seemingly 
) and very bashful. In society his diffidence was a 
14* 



162 NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 

sore annoyance to him, but it did not interfere with his 
duties in the shop. He would wait upon customers with 
as much grace and blandness of manner as the average 
run of clerks. I was soon after made acquainted with 
Mrs. Dinneford and two daughters, Agnes and Irene. 
Agnes was twenty-one, and Irene nineteen. The 
former looked like a good-hearted girl, but there was 
nothing veiy striking in her appearance. Not so with 
the latter ; she was the most beautiful creature I had ever 
seen. Her form, I thought, was perfect, and her face 
charming. 

By a perfect form, I do not mean a waist like a wasp's, 
which fools and fops so much admire ; and neither do I 
refer to the charming face, which generally accompanies die 
wasp waist, with features as tame and void of expression as 
a painted doll. . Irene's form and face were such as God gave 
to women. She had a full chest and a generous waist, 
giving the lungs and other organs a chance to expand and 
grow strong and healthy. Irene's bust had that rounded 
fulness which gives one a little of the voluptuous look, 
and attracts the attention of every lover of the beautiful. 
Her face was more beautiful, if possible, than her form. 
A white, clear skin, dark, expressive eyes, red lips and 
slightly flushed cheeks. She had a high forehead, and 
hair of a dark brown, — of a soft, silky appearance. Some- 
times her eyes wore a half-dreamy expression ; but when 
aroused by any subject of interest, they glowed with a 



NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 165 

brightness tW was enchanting. I had thought Helen 
Means beautiful ; but how much more so was Irene Din- 
neford ! She took my hand cordially, and after a few 
commonplace words had passed between us, she turned 
away, and spoke to Mr. Brown. He seemed ill at ease in 
her presence, replying to her in monosyllables, inter- 
spersed with hems. She remained in the shop some 
time, busying herself in looking at the newest patterns, 
and asking Ernest various questions about the goods, to 
which he gave the shortest possible replies, in a rather awk- 
ward manner. Sometimes I caught him looking at her 
very earnestly, with much of soul in his naturally hand- 
some eyes. But, as soon as his glance met hers, his eyes 
would drop, while she would continue to gaze, as though 
she wished that he would look at her once more with the 
same admiring glance. I felt that he was smitten as 
much as I was ; but I questioned whether he would ever 
summon courage enough to tell her of his love, did he 
love never so well. 

My time now passed rather pleasantly, although I was 
not so well pleased with the business as I expected to be. 
I supposed that I could sell goods to advantage, and 
please customers, without using deception or falsehood. 
But I found it an almost utter impossibility. Customers 
did not seem satisfied with the simple, honest truth. I 
had a great abhorrence of falsehood, from a child, — a liar 
I despised. Lying seemed so inefiably mean, that I 



164 NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 

heartily despised him or her who was guilty of it It 
was one of the many faults of the Webbers. Mr. Dinne- 
ford was as honest a trader as I had ever known. He 
was, at least, as honest as he could afford to be ; and, the 
majority would say, a little more so. But even he felt 
obliged to use deception sometimes ; and so did Ernest, 
who was naturally upright and conscientious. I was in 
the business but one year ; and I now feel, as I look back 
to that period, that I often violated my principles. The 
business soon became distasteful to me, because it was so 
difficult to be strictly honest and truthful. Purchasers 
were accustomed to tell so many falsehoods, and use so 
much deception, that we sometimes became vexed, and 
turned their own weapons against themselves. The worst 
class to trade with are the Irish ; and they are enough to 
irritate a saint. From what experience I had with 
them, I should judge they thought it perfectly right to 
lie, when making a trade ; and as they do it almost uni- 
versally, they will not believe a word the seller says. 
You might as well talk to the wind as to an Irishman, 
— and the women are worse than the men. But the 
fault is not all on the side of the buyers, for it is not an 
unusual thing for traders to lie and deceive. Merchants 
everywhere should adopt the one-price system, and adhere 
to it. This is a reform that is greatly demanded ; for it 
would save the telling of a million of lies a day, even in 
our own country. Let a convention of merchants be 



NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 165 

called, and the subject discussed in all its bearings, and 
then they will see the importance of adopting at once the 
one-price system. There was a class of purchasers who 
would not believe the simple truth, but the most ridicu- 
lous and improbable stories were readily swallowed. I 
was thankful that, all were not of this caste. Many were 
intelligent and honest, and seemed to know as by 
instinct when the truth was told. There was another 
class who would not believe a word you said, — and I do 
not now refer to the Irish. All remonstrance with them 
was in vain. Such persons were not usually very well 
informed, or remarkably cunning ; but they fancied they 
were. They were very conceited, self-confident, exceed- 
ingly selfish, without principle or a love of justice ; and 
they believed that everybody would lie when they could 
gain anything by it, because that was the rule by which 
they were governed themselves. 

I had not been many months in the business before I 
relinquished the long-cherished idea of being a merchant. 
I had bargained with Mr. Dinneford for one year ; — I 
resolved that I would remain with him during that 
period, and then quit the mercantile business forever, 
unless I could continue it without being troubled with the 
stings of conscience. 

New York was a good school for me ; for I learned a 
thousand things, which I had not dreamed of in- the 
country. I learned of its riches and its poverty ; of its 



166 NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 

overgrown wealth and its squalid wretchedness; of its 
virtues and its vices. I saw its fine churches and costly 
temples ; but beneath their very shadows were starvation 
and crime. I learned that many were driven, from abso- 
lute want, to a life of infamy ; and even their infamy 
was made a source of profit to the rich and bloated church. 
I do not include all churches and religious societies in 
this condemnation ; but there are, even now, in the mid- 
dle of this boasted nineteenth century ,. societies which 
obtain a part of their vast income by renting buildings 
for the vilest purposes. 

I had previously thought a city a very fine place. 
But, alas! when I had an opportunity to witness its. 
wretchedness, crime and injustice, I sighed for the 
country again, — the country, with its green fields and 
running brooks and rivers, its flowers and groves, the 
melody of birds and pure air ! More beautiful to me 
were the hills and valleys around my country home 
than the parks and batteries in the city. I felt very 
miserable, when I wandered through some of the streets, 
and found nothing but poverty, wretchedness and crime. 
Filth, intemperance, and all other vices, seemed to have 
a habitation in every house. The inmates were steeped 
in corruption and wickedness ; and little children, who 
have naturally so much love for the pure, the innocent 
and the beautiful, seemed at home in the midst of all this 
filth and beastliness. What coarse and bloated faces 



NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 167 

looked out of the doors and windows ! How old and 
strange werethe faces of the little children ! What an 
effect did all this abandoned wickedness produce upon tiie 
very buildings in which the poor wretches lived ! How 
dingy and filthy they looked, — prematurely old, and fast 
going to decay. Crime, poverty, filth, debauchery, starv- 
ation and death, seemed to stare at you from eveiy win- 
dow, and to breathe out darkness, horror and disease, from 
every hole and crevice. How awful it is to see male and 
female, black and white, old and young, all living to- 
gether in the same dark cellar, and all reeking with the 
vilest corruption ! From such plague-spots, from these 
vice-altars, arises the foul incense of death, like the smoke 
of the bottomless pit, for ever and ever ! 

! could we realize how many diseases have their ori- 
gin in such places, — diseases which carry desolation to 
thousands of hearts, whether rich or poor, — we should not 
cease to cry out, in agony, until a remedy was found. 
The church would awake from its slumber of death, and 
seek to save men here — deliver them from the lowest 
hell ! What a stigma upon Christianity and civilization, 
that such a place should exist under the very droppings 
of the sanctuary, — that children should be educated for 
the penitentiary and the gibbet. And yet thousands are 
thus educated, every year. They grow up, hating God 
and hating man ; without love, purity or hope. Inured to 
crime, suffering, hunger and poverty, every heart shut 



168 NEW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 

against them, every ear deaf to their cries, every eye 
turned from them with loathing and disgust, — is it any 
wonder that, Ishmael-like, their hands are raised against 
every man? Who teaches them love and truth? Who 
sheds the tear of sympathy over their woes and wrongs 1 
Who gives them kind looks, or kind words ? Alas ! they 
read only scorn and contempt, hatred and loathing, in the 
eyes of those they meet by the way ! They feel that the 
Christian and the man of God wish they were dead, as 
vile as they are. Why marvel that their hearts are hard, 

— that hatred and revenge mingle with all the red blood 
that courses through their veins? From infancy till 
death, all their finer feelings, their nobler aspirations, 
their better emotions, when they would gush forth, are 
met with such a freezing reception, that they are sent, 
trembling and cold, back upon the heart! God pity 
them, for the world despises and mocks ! Surely there 
must be a great wrong somewhere, or these things would 
not be. Can society be right, when such things exist ? 

— the vice, the crime, the corruption continually increas- 
ing ! Is not a radical change in society called for? If 
not, where is the antidote ? 

I learned, too, the fearful inequality whiolr exists in 
this republican land ! Near the rich man's palace was 
the dwelling of the poor, — the former groaning with 
luxury, the latter pinched with hungry want. One 
suffering with the superabundance of the good things of 



KBW SCENES AND NEW THOUGHTS. 169 

earth ; the other suffering for the want of them. The 
inmates of the palace often leading a weary life for the 
want of something to do ; the inmates of damp cellars, 
close rooms and cold attics, pining for rest. One party 
is too genteel to work ; th^ other must work or die — 
work day and ni£ht. <r 

That pale, hollow-eyed, Junken-cheeked woman, sit- 
ting sewing so late, night alter night, hy a dim light, 
must earn the bread for herself v and three children. She 
has once seen better days ; but her husband is dead, and 
now she makes shirts for six cents apiece ! At one 
o'clock, stiff and cold, she will blow out her dim light 
and lie down with her children. Every night it is so. 
Alas ! she will soon lie down in the grave ! And then, 
her children ! We will not pursue the painful subject. 

In New York one sees society in all its various 
aspects ; and the more he sees, and the more he reflects 
and studies, the more he is convinced that society, in its 
present state, is wrong. It is built on a wrong founda- 
tion, and it must be overturned and made new. The rights 
of the laborer must lje looked to, — the antagonisms done 
away with. Now the jarring discord is ever heayd, 
almost drowning, with its terrible noise and confusion, all 
the sweeter harmonies of the universe. The battle ever 
rages ; the conflict still goes on. The multitude rush on 
in eager haste, all seeking to grasp the glittering prize ; 
15 



170 NEW SCENES AND HEW THOUGHTS, 

not stopping to heed the cries and groans of the I eik 
and powerless, who are trodden under their feet 

The reader will pardon me for these prolonged reflec- 
tions, because of their importance. Let him not pass 
them idly by, bat give them earnest thought, and thenhe 
may lend a hand to hasten on the " good time coming." 



CHAPTER XV. 

A MEDLEY. 

I met frequently with Irene Dinneford, both at her 
borne and at the store. I spent many of my evenings 
with her. Sometimes we went to the theatre, the opera, 
or to a concert, or evening lecture. I found her very 
intelligent and interesting. We discussed the merits of 
plays, actors and books. She was well versed in history, 
Poetry and romance. Of all the poets, she liked Byron 
fast I preferred Shelley and Shakspeare. She was 
enraptured with the grandeur of Milton, the beauty of 
Thomson, the affection of Burns and the melody of Moore. 
I also admired them, but my feelings were not so intense 
88 hers. Our tastes were similar in relation to literature, 
lame and painting. She had a passionate love for the 
drama, but regretted that actors did not more respect 
themselves. " If they would be temperate and virtuous," 
she thought, " the strong prejudice against them would 
gradually wear away." She was right ; for it is lament- 
able they should so often degrade themselves, and create 
injurious prejudice. 
People sometimes express their surprise that play- 



172 A MBDLBY. 

actors should be so poor ; but it is not any marvel, when 
they are continually visiting hotels and grog-shops, drink- 
ing, carousing, day after day. It is not because they 
receive so little, but they spend so much foolishly. It 
is folly to attempt to kill the drama, or do away with 
theatres. People will have amusements ; and the drama 
should be made, not only a source of amusement, but of 
instruction and improvement. Improper language, such 
as is unfit and would corrupt the social circle, should not 
be uttered upon the stage. True wit is not cbarse or 
vulgar. Words of vile import, indecent hints, etc., may 
please the low and depraved, but the more refined and 
virtuou* will turn away in disgust. In this respect a 
reform is loudly called for, and stage-managers will do 
well to heed it , • Y * ' 

Our favorite actor was the elder Booth, who kaflPfciflun 
a brief period " shuffled oj£ this mortal coil." He was 
then in his prime ; and verjf seldom, if ever, has he been 
excelled in his ability to delineate character It mattered 
not that his face and form were not in accordance with 
your ideas of the character he personated, for you soon 
forgot all about them ; you forgot Booth, for you saw 
only Hamlet. So of Richard the Third, the hunch-back 
king and assassin,— he was "himself again." That plotting 
devil, Iago, walked the stage of life once more ; 'and old, 
garrulous, demented King Lear made you sad when you 
looked into his sorrow-stricken face, and heard him pour 



A MEDLEY. 173 

forth, in broken words, the griefe of his heart. Poor 
Booth! what a checkered life was thine ! " Peace to thy 
ashes ! " 

" After life's fitftil fryer, he sleeps well." 

" Thou knowest it is common, all that liye must die, 
Passing through nature to eternity." 

" Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close, 
And let us all to meditation." 

Our tastes being so similar, it was no marvel that we 
should seek each other's society, and feel happy when we 
were together ; but still there was ever something lacking. 
There was not that freedom and ease that I could have 
wished. Something stood between us, to keep us apart. 
Half ravished with her beautiful form and face, her soul- 
lit eyes, eharmed with her conversation, I sometimes 
thought of asking her to bedft^ voine. Hat her manner 
was never sufficiently cordrfjf give me the required 
assurance that I should not metf with a repulse. And 
ever, when I thought of offerinjtmyself in marriage to 
her, I would think of Helen,S-of the rescue, the 
happy hours I had spent in her presence, our pleasant 
rambles, gathering flowers, chasing butterflies, reading 
out of the same book, while sitting under a green, shady 
tree. How many hours has she read to me, in her clear, 
sweet tones ! And then I was happy. 
15* 



174 A MEDLEY. 

" O ! sweet as the lapse of water at noon 
O'er the mossy roots of some forest tree, 
The sigh of the wind in the woods of June, 

Or sound of flutes o'er a moonlight sea, ( 

Or the low, soft music, perchance, which seems 
To float through the slumbering singer's dreams, — 

" So sweet, so dear is the silvery tone 

Of her in whose features I sometimes look, 
As I sit at eye by her side alone, 

And we read by turns from the self-same book — 
Some tale perhaps of the olden time, 
Some lover's romance, or quaint old rhyme. 

" Then, when the story is one of woe, 

Some prisoner's plaint through his dungeon bar, 
Her blue eye glistens with tears, and low 

Her voice sinks down like a moan afar ; 
And I seem to hear the prisoner's wail, 
And his face looks on me, worn and pale. 

" And when she readsgjfbe merrier song, 

Her voice is £lad as* an April bird's ; 
And when the tale isl^Twar and wrong, 

A trumpet's stu&mons is in her words, 
And the rush of tjfc hosts I seem to hear, 
And see the tossing of plume and spear ! " * 

Irene Dinneford was good, intelligent and accom- 
plished, and more beautiful than Helen ; but then, I ever 
shrank from doing what would separate me forever from 
the one who had been so long a dear companion and 

•Whittier. 



A MBDLEY. 1T5 

faithful friend. I did not love Helen, and I knew not 
what were her feelings in reference to me ; but I felt that 
the relation of brother and sister would not do for us. 
A nearer tie must bind us, or our dear friendship must 
be broken. We might remain friendly in a certain sense, 
— visit each other, and ever be affable and courteous ; 
but that joy which was mutual — that blending of soul, 
heart, and life — could be ours no more. Hitherto, 
each had shared the other's joys and sorrows, hopes 
and fears ; but now I felt that the links of the golden 
chain which encircled us were broken, and my hand 
had done it Henceforth, there was a breach between 
us. The thought made me sorrowful. But I did not 
attempt to retrace my steps. Helen wrote to me often, 
and her letters ever breathed sweet sisterly affection. 
She wad anxious to see me, and said that her dear home 
was lonely without me. I occasionally heard from the 
home that was once mine, but not often. It is useless to 
remark that it was the same dreary, unhappy place. 
Beautiful was the scenery all around it, but within that 
large, elegant house, embowered in trees, was dreariness 
and decay. Without, the birds sang in the trees, and 
the summer winds whispered sweetest music. Flowers 
lifted their heads and held up their bright feces, blushing 
as they received the warm kisses of the zephyrs and sun- 
beams. Within was harsh discbrd, ever-darkening shad- 



176 A MEDLEY. 

owb, and no son-light How like man, smiling when lift 
heart is full of bitterness ! 

" For smiles will linger on the face, 
Long after they have left the heart.** 

Ernest became still more reserved, and in vain»I tried 
to read his feelings. I could not understand him. He 
was never rude, and yet I was always repulsed when 1 
would have been his friend. This lack of cordiality on 
his part did not cause me to dislike him. I felt that he 
was true at heart ; and I respected him, in spite of his 
coldness. I thought there must be a good and sufficient 
reason for his want of cordiality. 

I sometimes met him at Mr. Dinneford's. His appear- 
ance there was less pleasing than elsewhere, — more awk- 
ward and reserved. He seemed anxious to join in the 
conversation, and yet lacked the power. When Irene 
sang, accompanied by the piano, which she played most 
beautifully, Ernest gazed enraptured, and his whole soul 
seemed to look out of his dark eyes, and settle in intense 
admiration upon her. When she caught his glance, there 
was a wild light in her eyes, which glowed full upon him, 
causing him to shrink back within himself. That noble, 
inspiring look, which had for a moment lighted up his 
countenance, vanished, like the meteor's flash in an eve- 
ning sky. I sometimes thought that Irene must be more 
than half a coquette. 



I A MBDLBY. 177 

t He would generally retire early, leaving me tete-d-tete 
with Irene, which was just what I desired. She would 
occasionally ask my opinion of Ernest ; but not often, for 
I had nothing new to tell her. I told her that he was 
different from most other young men ; and that I could 
bow but little of him, for I had failed to gain his confi- 
dence. Her opinion coincided with mine. She wished 
he was more frank, and less reserved, — would be glad 
to be better acquainted with him. I thought she was 
quite interested ; but then, as she was a girl of fine feel- 
ings and large sympathies, I very naturally supposed 
ftat, as he appeared gloomy and unhappy, she was anxkms 
to disperse the clouds, and let the bright sunlight shine 
^splendent upon him. 



I 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE BETROTHAL. 

One cool and bright morning in October, as I was 
crossing Broadway, I noticed a commotion down the 
street ; I looked to discover the cause, and saw a horse 
attached to a buggy chaise running at full speed. As 
the carriage came nearer, I saw it contained only a 
female ; and knowing that it must inevitably come in con- 
tact with a large wagon just beyond me, I resolved to 
attempt to save her, at all hazards. When the horse was 
nearly opposite, I sprang and caught him by the bit, and 
succeeded in bringing him to, barely in season to save 
the carriage from being dashed to pieces, and its inmate, 
most probably, from serious injury. In doing this, I 
was not a little bruised ; for I was taken from my feet, 
and dragged some rods. Still, my injuries were not of a 
very serious nature. * 

How great was my surprise, when I arose to my feet, 
to find that the young lady in the carriage was Irene 
Dinneford ! She looked pale and much frightened ; but a 
bright flush sprang to her cheeks, and her eyes lighted up 






THE BETROTHAL. 179 

with an unwonted brilliancy, when she saw who was her 
preserver. She sprang from the carriage and warmly 
grasped my hand, thanking me, not in words, but in 
looks, a thousand times. She said, " Henri, you must 
go home with me." I readily assented, and we got into 
a hack and were quickly driven to Mr. Dinneford's. She 
informed me, on the way, that she had rode out with her 
father ; that he left the horse for a moment, to deliver a 
letter intrusted to his care. Some water thrown from a 
window near by, just at that moment, frightened the horse. 
She had the presence of mind to grasp the reins, and 
was enabled, it being early in the morning, when com- 
paratively few carriages were stirring, to keep clear of 
them. She saw, as she approached the large wagon, that 
to pass it without coming in contact was almost impossi- 
ble ; and she felt that she had not long to live. 

Soon after we had arrived at her home, Mr. Dinneford 
came in, all out of breath, and looking as pale as death. 
When he found that his darling Irene was safe, he was 
overjoyed, and the pearly tears glistened in his eyes. I 
had the satisfaction of receiving the congratulations of 
the whole family, and among the happy I was the 
happiest. On account of my bruises, they said I must 
remain where I was for the present. Although I was 
not much hurt, I willingly consented to remain. Where 
else could I be so happy as in the company of Irene 
Pinneford? 



180 THB BETROTHAL. 

The day passed away pleasantly, and I never felt bet- 
ter satisfied with myself and all around me. Irene and I 
were, for the most of the time, alone. She seemed nearer 
and dearer to me than ever ; that something which bad 
stood between us, like a cloud between the sun and the 
earth, had departed, — the spectre had vanished, leaving 
but a slight shadow behind, even as the shadows of night 
still linger after the morning has dawned. Irene looked 
radiantly happy, and sat by my side, with one hand clasped 
in mine, her passionate eyes fixed earnestly upon me, as 
though they would say, " Our happiness is now complete ! " 
The window where we sat commanded a full view of the 
western sky, in which reposed vast piles of fleecy clouds, 
in an atmosphere of gold. The sun was just descending, 
and ever and anon it hid its face behind a white cloud, 
making it to look red and bright, like the fiery eyes behind 
it. Then again the cloud was removed, and a flood of 
glory swept through the world, like the breath of th& 
storm-god over the great waters. In the distance, the 
landscape smiled like a radiant bride, the face of the 
waters brightened, and the domes and spires of the city 
gleamed with gulden light Again its face was hid, and 
now those mountains of snowy clouds shone with fiery 
grandeur and beauty, as though vast flames were glowing 
in their bosoms. Soon the day-king had descended to 
his bed, and the curtains of his golden couch were drawn 
closely around him, and we saw his face no more. Now 



THE BBTBOTflAL. 181 

shadows rested upon the landscape, played upon the face 
of the waters, and came in troops into the streets and 
lanes of the city. 

I turned to Irene ; tears trickled down her cheeks, and 
I asked her why she wept — if she was unhappy. 

" It was too much for me," she replied. " ! what a 
beautiful sunset ! Nay, radiantly glorious ! Is heaven, 
think you, more beautiful ? " 

" I know not," I replied; "but there, we trusty mfr jar- 
ring discords can come between us and such celestial 
harmonies." 

" True, true. But do not mar our present joy by 
inviting them hither now." 

" I will not, dearest. But, lest they should come, you 
must sing, and then they will seek to enter in vain." 

She arose, and opened the piano, and sang, in clear, 
sweet tones, Burns 9 " Sweet Afton." I had never heard 
it before, and the words fell upon my ears like the sweet 
breathings of flute-like music, when they steal on har- 
mony's soft wings across a quiet stream. She then sang 
a livelier song, which I have frequently heard since, but 
oftener murdered than sung. I was chained with the 
singing of a part of the chorus. Here are the words : 

" Dearest for thee, thee only, 

These mountain wilds are sweet to me; 
Each crag and vaUey lonely 
Are blessed because *t is loved by thee." 

16 




182 THB BETROTHAL. 

She then played a wild, touching air, in which were 
mingled strains of thrilling sweetness, soft as the whis- 
pered music of zephyrs when playing among the petab 
of roses. 

She now closed the piano, and came and sat down ty 
my si^e. It was still light, and I could see that her face 
was radiant and happy. 

ri," she said, earnestly, " how shall I ever cancel 
; I owe you ? " 
;debt, Irene?" 

" When in the greatest peril, yon delivered me, and,I 
believe, saved my life, at the risk of your own. I know 
not how to pay such a debt as that" 

" I did not know it was you, Irene ; so you are not 
particularly in debt" 

" That does not alter the case. I must insist upon it 
that I owe a debt which I can never pay." 

" Since you insist upon it, I will tell you how it may 
be cancelled." 

" Do so," she said, quickly, " and it shall be done. 
What shall it be, Henri?" 

I put my arms around her neck, and drew her towards 
me. " Give me the right to call you mine, only mine,' 1 
I said, passionately. She leaned her head upon my bosom, 
and I folded her to my heart 

" You are mine, mine only," I whispered. 

" Yes, dearest," she said, and mutual kisses sealed the 



ma BETROTHAL, 183 

Contract Our bliss was short, for she suddenly sprang 
from my arms, like a frightened &wn. 

" What ! " I cried, " do you repent so soon? " 

" ! no, Henri ; but, pardon me ! My nature is so 
impetuous that I had forgotten what propriety required." 

" I don't think so. These rules of propriety are like 
icebergs, decidedly chilling. Must the wannest and most 
generous feelings of the heart be all chained or crushed, 
whenever they would leap into life?" 

" I would that mine might be chained, sometimes." 

" I shall disagree with you. Would you bind the 
winds, and chain the lightning ? " 

" Yes, both, when they are likely to do mischief. Your 
simile pleases me, and I will seek to profit by it" 

" Very well, but give me the assurance that you love 
me — that I shall have the right to call you my own 
Irene." 

She gave me her hand, and whispered, "I am thine! " 
We were here interrupted by the ringing of the tea-bell, 
and our blissful tete-d-tete was ended., 

That night I had a strange dream, leaving an impression 
which I could not shake off. I thought that a spirit came 
and stood by my bed, and gazed upon me with a mild, 
reproving look. Its face resembled Helen Means'. It 
did not speak, and yet I felt that I must go with it I 
hastily arose, and was surprised to'find how quickly I had 
recovered from my injuries. In a brief period I was at 



184 THB BETROTHAL. 

my boyhood's home. Once more the humid hills and 
valleys and green woodlands were smiling and rejoicing 
all around me. The flowers were again blushing, as they 
frolicked with the aephyrs; and the butterflies were danc- 
ing gayly through the soft and balmy atmosphere, as 
though a world of happiness filled their little hearts. 
Once more I stood by that dark stream of water, and saw 
the golden-tinted fish. Then I was startled by a loud 
cry of distress 3 and I hastened, with my usual impetuosity, 
to deliver a little girl from the brutal hands into which 
she had fallen. The child was poor and pale, and her cloth- 
ing ragged and dirty. " I know you," thought I ; " you 
are Helen Means." 

In a moment, as it were, the scene had changed. I 
was walking in a dark and unknown wood ; the rain was 
beating down. in torrents, and the wind was shaking the 
tall forest trees in great wrath, and howling, and moan- 
ing, and shrieking, as though the woods were filled with 
the ghosts of the damned. The spirit was still with me. 
It led me to a large tree, and beneath it reposed, in soft 
sleep, although the storm was beating upon it, a little 
child. A sweet steiile played upon its pale face,- and, as 
I gazed in wonder upon so strange a sight, I thought, 
" And you, too, are Helen Means." 

Again the scene had changed, and I was in the dearest 
spot to me on earth, lor there had I spent my happiest 
days. It seemed a calm, star-light night, cool but beau- 



THB BBTBOTHAL. 185 

ti&L I oouM hear the soft, liquid notes of a laughing 
stream, whose meandering course I had often Mowed, 
while by my side had walked or ran a gentle being, — a 
happy, blue-eyed girl, pure and truthful as an angel. In 
the distance, on yonder hill-side, the limbs of the trees 
were waving in the night-breeze, as if they welcomed me 
home again. I gazed with silent and breathless joy upon 
the calm scene around me. I was alone, but in a moment 
the spirit was again at my side. I knew that I must follow 
it Close to us was the house of my uncle ; we entered 
the front door and walked up the stairs, and my guide 
led me to the bedside of a beautiful gprl, who seemed to be 
in a troubled sleep. The spirit gazed upon her stead- 
fastly, with eyes of love; and then turned to me and said, 
though not a sound escaped its lips, " Her dreams are 
sad ; thou mayst know their import" I now read her 
thoughts as plainly as I ever read in a book. She was 
dreaming of me — that I had forgotten her, and given my 
heart to another. Pearly tears started from their invisi- 
ble founts, and slowly rolled down her pale cheeks. She 
awoke and murmured, " Cruel, cruel Henri ! " I was 
immeasurably distressed, and was about to speak, when I 
awoke. Just as I opened my eyes, I fancied I heard her 
say, " Thank heaven, it is all a dream ! " I could with 
difficulty persuade myself that I had not heard her voice. 
The words seemed tP have beenspoken in my room. I, 
too, was gjad to find it all a dream. I was in a deep 
16* 



186 THB BBTBOTHAL. 

perspiration, and my cheeks were wet with my team. 
" Strange," thought I, " that a dream should affect me 
thus ! " I did not sleep again, for my thoughts were 00 
troubled that I could not I courted the sleepy god in 
yain. I succeeded, at last, in driving away the thoughts 
that oppressed me, by the consideration, which I eagerly 
sought to impress upon my mind, that I had but passed 
through a troubled dream, caused, perhaps, by the pre- 
vious day's excitement, and the injuries from which I was 
suffering. 

I arose and dressed myself with difficulty, for my 
limbs were stiff and sore, and there was a severe pain in 
my side. When the family saw my haggard appearance, 
they expressed much solicitude, and were fearful that my 
injuries were more severe than I had supposed them to 
be. I told them that I had not rested well, but there 
were no alarming symptoms. I read so much pure sym- 
pathy and concern in the sweet face of Irene, that the 
effects of my dream soon departed, and my spirits were 
again buoyant and happy. By the application of such 
remedies as were requisite, I was soon relieved from all 
my unpleasant symptoms. I felt that I should recover, 
for I had an angel for a nurse. 

In the afternoon Ernest came to see me. His coun- 
tenance looked more dejected than ever. He expressed a 
desire that Irene should sing. She complied, and sang, 



THB BEXBOTHAL. 187 

•« O, giye me ft cot in the yaUey I lote, 
A tent in the green-wood, ft home in the grove." 

And, at my request, 

" I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls." 

Ernest stood and gazed upon her with that same enrap- 
tured expression which, more than once before, I had 
seen light up and make beautiful a usually tame and 
inexpressive countenance. Irene caught his glance, and 
a troubled look came over her, and just then I was a bit 
jealous. But it soon passed away, for I fancied she 
might be thinking of his joyless life. 

The next day I wrote to my uncle, informing him of 
my engagement to Irene Dinneford, and the circum- 
stances attending it, craving his blessing, — also my 
aunt's, Mrs. Stewart's and Helen's. A pang shot 
through my heart, as I wrote the dear name of Helen, 
and my strange dream was again vividly before me. But 
I finished my letter, and, with a heart half sad, half joy- 
ous, delivered it into the hands of a servant, to be taken 
to the office. 

In a few days I had returned to the store, having, in 
the mean time, entirely altered my plans for the future. 
Mr. Dinneford had offered me a partnership in his busi- 
ness, which I had agreed to accept. The first day of 
January was fixed as the time when I should com- 
mence business ; till then I was to remain a clerk, as I 



188 THB BETROTHAL. 

had been. On that day I was to lead Irene to the altar. 
When Ernest learned of this arrangement, he signified 
his wish to close his services as clerk immediately; bat 
Mr. Dinneford would not consent until his time expired, 
the last day of December. In due season a letter 
arrived from my uncle. It was brief, and, I thought* 
cold. It commenced by expressing surprise that they 
were to lose me so soon, — hoped I might be very happy, 
and that they should have the pleasure, ere long, of see* 
ing me and my affianced bride. Helen's name was not 
mentioned, and I felt a little piqued. 

The days and weeks now passed away swiftly and 
pleasantly, for they floated on the rosy wings of love. 
Irene and I were much together, and we felt that to be 
near each other was happiness. Not that our bliss was 
unalloyed, for there were moments when neither seemed 
at ease. I knew not what were the thoughts that made 
her unhappy, but I well knew my own. That myste- 
rious dream often troubled me, and the thought that 
Helen was lost to me forever made me at times wretched. 
A long time had passed, and she had not answered my 
last letter. My uncle had written that she was indis- 
posed, and unable to write. I thought of going to her, 
that I might comfort her in her hour of sorrow ; but 
something held me back, v A few months before, and I 
should have flown on the swift wings of love. 

It pained me not a little to realize that the nearer the 



THB BETROTHAL. 189 

day approached for our marriage, the less there was of 
mutual love and sympathy between us. Instead of that 
oneness of feeling and sentiment, that melting and 
mingling of two beings into one, which is so requisite to 
secure happiness in married life, there was a mutual 
shrinking away, as though we dreaded the hour when the 
law should declare us husband and wife. The old 
shadow had returned, and stood, with a stern glance, to 
frighten us back, like the lions in the path of the pilgrim, 
whenever we would approach the goal of happiness. I 
was often thinking of Helen, and Irene was thinking of 
— I knew not what. She once expressed to me her 
fears that we should never be happy. I asked her why 
she thought so. She said she did not know, but she 
could not drive the troubling thought from her heart I 
threw my arms around her, and, as her head rested upon 
my bosom, I whispered, "All will yet be well," — though 
I but half felt it. 

We do not always know the import of our own words. 
The seer tells of things which are yet to come to pass, 
but does not understand them. He is often a medium 
of truth to the world, the importance of which he has no 
conception. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

A WALK IN THE PARK. — EAVES-DBOPPING. 

Ii was the second week in December, and the nuptial 
day was rapidly approaching. One evening, just as the 
sun had set, I called at Mr. Dinneford's. It was warn, 
like summer, and not a flake of snow had yet Mien. I 
inquired for Irene, and was told that a cousin had ar- 
rived from the country that afternoon, and that she, Mr. 
Dinnefbrd and Irene, had gone to a walk in the Park. I 
walked leisurely there, and soon encountered Mr. Din- 
neford, who was alone. I asked for the girls, and he 
pointed them out, some distance off, walking very slowly, 
as though engaged in deep conversation. 

" I let them stray," said Mr. Dinnefbrd, " for they 
are old cronies, and I was well aware, by their actions, 
that they had a number of young gjrls* secrets to dis- 
close to each other. And now, as you have come, I shall 
take myself off, being of no further use." 

I did not immediately follow them, but let them con- 
tinue their conversation, until it had beoome dark. As 
I approached them, they took a seat, without noticing 
jpoe, so much were they engrossed with the subject that 



A WALK IN THK PABK.— KAVES-DBOPPING. 191 

engaged their attention. I thought I would step up 
behind them, and give them a sadden start When I was 
nearly to them, I heard her cousin say, 

" And so yon are engaged to marry, and yet yon are 
fearful that you do not love him." 

" I know that I do not love him as he deserves to be 
loved, or as his nature requires," was the answer. 

I was now deeply interested, and I could not resist the 
temptation to hear more. 

" And shall you marry him, if you cannot love him 1 " 

" I suppose I must, now, it has gone so far." 

" But you must not do anything of the kind. What 
right have you to go to the altar, if you do not love ? " 

"I sometimes feel it to be wrong; but I highly 
respect him, and almost love him ; and our minister says 
that respect is, on the whole, better than love, for there 
is something to found love upon after marriage." 

' " Your minister is a fool ! I have no patience with 
many of the clergy of the present day ; they don't seem 
to be more than half human." 

" Why, how you talk of the clergy ! Mother would 
think you a heathen, to hear you." 

" What I say is true, nevertheless. Tell about re- 
spect being better than love ! What constitutes marriage 
but mutual love ? " 

" I feel that you are right ; but I will marry Henri, 
and I shall love him, he is so noble and generous." 



192 A WALK IN THE PARK.— BAVBS-DBOPPIHG. 

" Why do you think you shall love him after mar* 
riage, if you cannot before ? " 

" Because I almost love him now ; and sometimes I 
have felt that I love him with my whole heart ! how 
often have I prayed that it might be so always ! " 

" And yet your prayer is not answered. Irene, it is 
not right that it should be. Your love for him is that 
of a sister for a dear brother, rather than a husband." 

" I am fearful that it is so, but I hope not After we 
are married, I shall feel that we must be all in all to 
each other ; and he is so good, I doubt not I shall love 
him dearly." 

" Irene, the girl who gives her hand to a man she 
does not love, perils her own happiness and the happiness 
of her husband, and commits a great wrong. You will 
not marry Henri ! " 

"Do not say that, Mary. Henri saved me in the 
hour of peril, and I have promised to many him. My 
parents have given their consent and their blessing. 
The day is rapidly approaching. It is too late now." 

" No, it is not too late, — you are not yet married? 
There is yet time, if you only act as a woman should." 

" But can I do him so great a wrong, when he has 
done so much for me? And what would my parents 
say?" 

"The greatest wrong you can do Mr. Eaton is to 



I 



A WALE IN THE PAML— BAVES-DBOPPINa. 198 

many him, when you cannot give him your Whole 
heart." 

" O, but he shall never know it It is too late to think 
of breaking our engagement now. I will marry him ! " 

" Irene, be candid with me. Is there not some other 
being in the world whom you love more ? " 

" I do not know, Mary." 

" You do not know ! But you do know, and you 
cannot hide the truth from your own heart Tell me 
who it is, and why you are separated." 

" You are a strange girl, Mary, and seem determined 
to bring all my hidden thoughts to light. To tell the 
truth, there is one whom I have often fancied that I 
could love, if he would love me ; and I thought so before 
I ever saw Henri." 

" I guessed as much. Who is the gentleman ? " 

" The bashful clerk to whom I introduced you, when 
you were here last" , 

" I cannot say that I admire your taste. I should 
prefer Mr. Eaton ; but we do not all think alike. But 
does he know anything, — is he intelligent? He ap- 
peared to me very -dull and stupid, and entirely devoid 
of language, excepting no and yes, and frequent hems." 

" He is very diffident, and often stupid ; but I know he 

has a soul true and noble. One who lacks intelligence 

and goodness could not look as I have seen him. I have 

seen his countenance lit up, as it were, by inspiration ; 

17 



194 A WALK IN THB PARK,— EAVES-DROPPING. 

sad 0, how noble it looked ! And his eyes — how fbH 
of passion they were, and how entrancing was their 
expression ! " 

"I think he would feel flattered to hear yon now. I 
see plainly enough that yon love him. But have you 
any evidence that this feeling is mutual?" 

" I have thought so, when his eyes were fixed upon 
me so passionately, and seemingly so full of admiration; 
and, besides, he is so much more sorrowful since he 
learned my engagement with Henri." 

" Irene, you shall marry Ernest, and not Henri ! " 

" 0, no ! it may not be. I do not know that I should 
like Ernest at all, if better acquainted. In three weds 
I shall be married, and then Ernest will be nothing to 
me. But you must never mention this to a single 
soul." 

" No, dear, I will not. You know that you can trust 
me ; but dp you think Mr. Eaton would marry you, if he 
knew what your feelings are ? " 

" I do not believe he would. I sometimes think that 
he does, not love me. He is very different, at times," 

" Another reason why you should not many. It must 
not be, Irene." 

" I have told you that it is too late to retreat I know 
what my father would say. I never had a cross look or 
an angry word from him in my life, and I could not bear 
them now." 



A WALK IN THE PA£K. — EAVES-DROPPING, 195 

By tiiis time I had heard enough, and I walked softly 
away, and went quite a distance from them, and came 
np in a different direction, that they might not mistrust 
that I had heard their conversation. 

And does the reader ask what were my thoughts and 
emotions, while I listened to this revelation? They were 
peculiar, as might well be supposed. At first, I was not 
a little mortified. It was not very pleasing to learn that 
another was preferred to me, when our wedding-day was 
so near at hand. For a few minutes the green-eyed 
monster had such power otot me, that I trembled with 
emotion. I soon got the mastery of this unmanly feeling, 
for I knew that to give way to it was foolish and wrong; 
and then my thoughts were not at all painful. In fact, a 
burden seemed to be removed and a weight taken from 
my heart. In a brief period I had formed my plan of 
action; and I walked rapidly to where they sat, apprizing 
them of my approach by a loud hem. They seemed a 
little embarrassed when they saw me, but my manner 
quickly reassured them. Irene introduced me to Mary 
Dinneford, her cousin, from New Jersey. I had seen 
her before, but had not received an introduction. 

I told them that I had met Mr. Dinneford, and he 
had commissioned me to attend them home. They arose, 
and I offered an arm to each, and we walked leisurely 
homeward. The evening was spent in agreeable conversa- 
tion. When the clock had struck ten, I signified to Irene 



196 A WALK IN THE PARK. — BAVES- DROPPING. 

that I wished a private interview. She looked surprised, 
as it was the first evening of her cousin's visit, and we 
had spent the previous evening together. Probably they 
intended to have had a confidential conversation, after 
they retired. 

" Will it be long? " she inquired, hesitatingly. 

" Most likely," I replied. " But why do you ask? " 

" Excuse me," she answered. " I asked because it 
interfered with a previous arrangement. But I will make 
it all right." 

She crossed the room to her cousin, and they continued 
to whisper together for some time. During their conver- 
sation her parents withdrew. Soon after, Agnes followed, 
accompanied by Mary. We were now alone. I confess 
I never felt so much embarrassed before, and Irene 
seemed as much so as I was. I asked her to sing. She 
complied, and sang a beautiful air, with words which, I 
thought, very appropriate for the occasion. She now took 
a seat by my side on the sofa, where we had spent many 
happy hours. I took her hand, and informed her that I 
had a long sjpry to tell her, with which I thought she 
would be interested. She looked a good deal puzzled, 
and I commenced. My story was of Helen Means and 
myself. I gave her an account of our first acquaintance, 
the measures I took to get her out of Deacon Webber's 
hands, her dressing in boys' clothes, sleeping in the woods, 
and, finally, being found by my uncle and carried to his 



A WALK IN THE PARK. — BAVES-DBOPPING. 197 

borne. I also gave an account of her sickness, and my 
subsequent removal to my uncle's ; the happy days we 
bad spent together; and I closed with my strange dream. 
In giving this history, I dwelt much upon the merits of 
Helen, — her loving and forgiving spirit, her tender and 
truthful heart 

She listened with deep attention ; and when I had fin- 
ished my narrative, she remarked that it was an interest- 
ing and touching story. 

" But why," she asked, " have you chosen this hour 
to tell it tome?" 

" Can you not surmise the reason ? " 

She looked at me inquiringly, but did not speak. 

" Irene," I said, " I will be candid with you. I am 
afraid that I love Helen better than I do you." 

" I now understand you." 

"Well?" 

" You wish the engagement between us should close." 

"Would it not be best?" 

" Certainly, if you do not love me." 

" Is it not in accordance with your wishes ? " 

"I should not wish to marry you, if you loved 
another." 

" No, but would you wish to marry me, if I loved you 
only?" 

"Yes." 

IT* 



198 A WALK IN THE PARK. — BAVES-DBOOTNG. 

" Be candid, Irene. Is it the sincere desire of yonr 
heart, — year whole heart ? " 

" Henri, why do yon ask such questions ? " 

" Because I have often noticed, that when we were 
together, and should have been happy, yonr thoughte 
were elsewhere." 

" The same thing I have noticed in you." 

" I was thinking of Helen Means." 

"Yes." 

" And where were your thoughts, Irene ? " 

She was silent. 

" Irene, I have been guilty of a breach of etiquette, 
which, I fear, you will not pardon." 

" I can tell better when I know what it is." 

"Certainly." 

" Will you inform me ? Nothing very bad, I hope." 

" You shall know. I listened to your conversation, 
to-night, in the Park." 

She sprang to her feet, and her eyes flashed. 

" Is it possible, Henri? I would not have believed 
you capable of it ! " 

" Sit down," I said, " and hear my justification." 

She mechanically obeyed. 

"As I approached you, I heard your cousin say, 'And 
yet you are fearful that you do not love him ? ' Do you 
wonder that I stopped to hear the reply ?" 

"No." 



A WALK IN THE PARK.— EAVES-DROPPING. 199 

" Tou are aware what followed. I despise an Eaves- 
dropper as heartily as you can. But, had you been in 
my place, would you have acted differently 1 " 

"I think not." 

u Then I am forgiven." 

"You are." 

" Thank ^ou. Now let us come to an understanding. 
The feeling must be mutual, that our engagement shall be 
broken off." 

She nodded assent. 

"Irene," I continued, somewhat affected, "you will 
yet be happy. I believe that Ernest loves you." 

She seemed to awake suddenly from a painful revery. 

" 0, do not tell him what you heard me say I I beg 
of you, Henri! " 

" I will do as you wish," I replied. 

"Now tell me," said she, looking at me earnestly; 
" is not Helen Means a creature of the imagination ? " 

"Why do you ask?" 

"I have never heard you speak of her before; and 
I have thought, now that I aift aware you heard our 
conversation to-night, that you might have invented this 
Helen, to show that our intended marriage was as dis- 
tasteful to you as to me." 

" You are mistaken, — I have told you but the truth." 

" I am very thankful that it is so. But, ! how sad 



200 A WAUL IN THE PARK. — BAVBS-DBOPPIH0. 

I feel ! As I know that you are never to be my hus- 
band) a sense of dreary loneliness steals oyer me." 

" 1, too, feel sadly; but the shadows will not remain 
long, — the morning son will chase them away." 

"What will my poor lather say? It will almost break 
his heart" 

" Leave it to me. I know it will be ar serious dis- 
appointment to him ; bat it will come oat right in the 
end." 

" I fear his displeasure." 

" Yoa need not, if yoa will let me manage the whole 
affair. No blame shall fell on yoa." 

" Yoa are ever generous. Bat can I consent to let 
yoa suffer for me ? No, no, Henri ! Yoa once perilled 
your own life to save mine ; and, when I think of that 
noble act, I feel that I would marry yoa, did I love 
another with my whole heart ! " 

" There you are wrong. I simply did what you would 
do, if you had the opportunity." 

" Perhaps so. But I will go to my father, this night, 
and tell him all ! " 

" That you must not do. Your father is, most likely, 
in a- sound sleep now, and he would not thank you far 
waking him at this time of night to hear a romantic 
love-story. I shall insist upon taking the matter into my 
own hands." 

" Do as you think best ; for your will is stronger than 



A WALE IN THE PARK. — EAVES -DROPPING. 201 

mine. O, Henri !* you would have thought, by my words 
in the Park to-night, that this scene would have relieved 
me of a burden, and made my heart light; and so I 
thought, but it was never so sad before. My hopes have 
so long centred in you, that now I feel alone ! " 

" Do not indulge in such feelings. Think of Er- 
nest ! " 

" 0, do not mention him ! He does not love me." 

" I believe he does, and you will soon learn the feet 
Hereafter, we shall be as brother and sister to each 
other." 

" I cannot comprehend it." 

" You will, ere long; so think of the happy days in 
store for you." 

I arose to depart. She looked at me with earnest, 
tearful eyes, and then sprang into my arms, with all the 
impetuosity of her nature, and hung weeping upon my 
neck. My tears were mingled with hers. That last 
love embrace was long and painful, in which were mingled 
sighs, tears and kisses. It was with difficulty that we 
tore ourselves apart. All our old feelings seemed to have 
concentrated into that moment, with three-fold power. I 
now wonder that we did not pledge ourselves anew. Had 
either mentioned it, I doubt not we should have done 
so. It was well that we did not. I felt the danger we 
were in, — two such impulsive natures as ours, — and I 



A WALK IN m PAUL— EAVBS-DBOPPING. 



took my hat and hastily fled from the house, leaving Irene 
weeping upon the sofa. 

After I had retired to my bed, I had time to collect 
my thoughts; and I felt that we had done right, and soon 
every veetige of regret had fled, and I fell into a calm 
and refreshing slumber. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

ERNEST BROWN. 

The ensuing morning, when I went into the shop, I 
found Ernest looking pale and dejected. When I bade 
him good-morning, in a light and happy tone of voice, he 
regarded me for a moment with a glance of bitter hatred. 

I fixed my eyes upon him with a searching look, desir- 
ing to read his heart. If it was capable of harboring a 
mean and contemptible spirit of hatred towards one who 
had never sought to injure him, I did not wish Irene to 
become his bride. He quailed beneath my glance, his 
eyes cast upon the floor, as if ashamed of himself. At 
last he spoke. 

" Your thoughts, in relation to me, Mr. Eaton, are 
not very complimentary, just now." 

" Very true." 

" You are candid, and I like you all the better for it 
I fear I have given you some reason to doubt the sincerity 
of my friendship ; so I shall not complain." 

" I am glad you are sensible of it, and have the cour- 
age and manliness to confess it I think better of you 
now." 



204 ERNEST BROWN. 

" Thank you, and I will try never to give you cause 
to think evil of me again.' 1 

"Why did you give me such a look of scorn and 
contempt, when I greeted you with such a whole-hearted 
good-morning 1 " 

11 1 cannot tell you. 91 

"Why not 7" 

" 0, Henri ! you can never know how intensely I 
suffer! For many months before you came to New 
York, I had a blissful waking dream, which now can 
never be realized ! " 

" Tell me the dream, for perchance I may interpret it" 

" The dream, and the radiant hopes it inspired me with 
so long, are locked in my own heart ; and there shall they 
sleep undisturbed forever ! " 

These words were spoken slowly, in a low but passion- 
ate tone; his countenance clearly indicating the wild 
tumult which raged within his breast. I knew that sleep 
was not there. Hence I said, 

" Sleep — undisturbed — " 

" No, no ! I would to God they would sleep, — die ! 
but they will not ! " 

" It is possible," I said, " that I may have the key 
which will unlock that heart, and bring the dream to the 
light of day, and the hopes it inspired you with." 

" Do not taunt me/' he said, fiercely, "or I may do 
what I shall be sorry for to the end of my life ! " 



ERNEST BROWN. 205 

I was somewhat nettled by his look, and the manner 
in which he uttered those words, and I answered, 

" Most likely I shall say what I please ; and violent 
threats will not deter me in the least." 

" Beware how you speak, Mr. Eaton, or I shall Inake 
you repent in bitterness, though the curse of the act 
should follow me to my grave ! " 

" That would be very unwise, to say the least. You 
do not know me, Ernest, or you would not talk in that 
fashion. I fear you as I do the wind ! " 

" Do you defy me ? " 

" Just as you please." 

He came fiercely towards me, but suddenly stopped 
and looked earnestly in my face. 

"You are not a coward?" I said, half laughing. 
" ' Lay on, Macduff.' " 

His eyes flashdk 

" I was about to do a foolish act," he said, " and if 
you believe me to be a coward — " 

" Well, what would you do ? " 

" I know not." 

11 1 do not believe it, Ernest. We are both fools." 

" I did not know that we were so much alike, Henri. 
Give me your hand ! " 

I grasped it cordially. 

" We are reconciled now," he remarked. " Let us be 
friends." 

18 



206 BBOT8I BBOWff. 

11 Amen," I responded, earnestly. 

"We are alike!" he said. " But I have suffered all 
my days, while you have lived happily. Dark clouds 
have ever lowered over my path, while your sky has 
been* clear and beautiful, and your way smooth and 
pleasant" 

"You are mistaken, Ernest I too have suffered 
bitterly." 

" Is it possible? But your prospects are bright now, 
your hopes golden, while I am in the lowest hell of 
despair!" 

11 Will you not confide your sorrows to me, as to a 
friend? I may have the power to alleviate them; I am 
sure I wish you well." 

" I do not doubt it ; but it is not in your power, — not 
in the power of man ! " 

He was now fist relapsing into his ^sual state of weary 
dulness. I was determined to arouse him ; and after I 
had left him a sufficient time to commune with his own 
thoughts, having, in the mean time, entered some accounts 
on the leger, I returned to him, and remarked, carelessly, 

" You are aware, Ernest, that I am to be married 
soon?" 

« I am." 

" Will you and Miss Dinneford act as groomsman and 
bridesmaid?" 

" No." 



EBNBST BBOWJT. 207 

"Why not?" 

He hesitated. 

"How do I know that it would be agreeable to 
Agnes?" 

" Mary Dinneford is here. I think it would be agree- 
able to her, or Agnes either. 1 ' 

" But it would not to me." 

" Will you give me your reason ? " 

"No." 

" Your answer is to the point, but cold and Utter. 
You don't talk much like a friend." 

"I know it; but forgive me ! " 

" I will, if you consent to my wishes." 

"I cannot! Bequest me to do anything else but 
that, and you shall be gratified." 

"Come, come, Ernest; I begin to think that you envy 
me Irene. 

" Curse your insolence ! " 

" You forget we are friends." 

" And so do you." 

"You and Miss Dinneford shall comply with my 
request ! " 

" She may; but I will not, so help me God ! You 
have your answer now." 

" You have promised to comply with any other request 
but that." 

"And so I will, if it is reasonable." 



208 EBNBST BROWN. 

" Always an if in the way ! My request is simple, 
and not hard to be complied with. All I ask of you is 
to marry Irene yourself! " 

He started to his feet, and seemed to wrestle with 
contending emotions. 

" Henri ! " he said, with forced calmness, " why tor- 
ture me thus? If you were serious in desiring my 
esteem, my friendship, why seek to wound my feelings, 
and make me hate you? " 

" I do not seek either, nor wish it Would you not 
like to marry Irene? " 

" No." 

" I don't believe you." 

" It 's a matter of perfect indifference, sir ! " 

" Of course. But I have news for you. The engage- 
ment is broken off between Irene Dinneford and pur 
humble servant, Henri Eaton." 

When I uttered these words, he sprang towards me, 
exclaiming, 

" Is it so ? You do not mean what you say ! I would 
to God it were true ! But no, it is only renewed tor- 
ture! Why do I make a fool of myself? She is 
nothing to me." 

u It is true, nevertheless." 

He now came to me, and took my hand and held it 
like a vice, and said, 

" Can this be so? Are you sincere in what you say?" 



BBNBST BBOWN. 

" I am ; bat what is it to you? Why are you so 
interested? Tou have just said you had no desire to 
marry her." 

" Neither was I willing to have her become your wife.' 1 

11 You speak the truth now. But, as she is nothing to 
you, — as you do not wish to make a wife of her, — why 
should you feel so much interested ? " 

He did not seem to fancy this provoking raillery, and 
he regarded me some time in silence. At last he said, 

" Henri, I believe you know my heart as well as I 
know it myself." 

" On one point I know it well. Tou love Irene Din* 
neford." 

" I do ! " 

" Very frank. If she returned your love, you would 
gladly make her your wife." 

" Yes, and wish for no brighter heaven ! " 

" That would be foolish; but you have learned to speak 
the truth at last, so I see there is some hopes of you. 
Now set about winning the heart of Irene ; for there is no 
obstacle in thq way." 

" But how did it happen? What was the cause of it? 
Why are you so ready to resign her to me? Do you 
not love her — does she not love yotf — " 

" That will do," said I, interrupting him. " You are 
famous for asking questions. If you ask any more, I 
shall not remember half of them." 
18* 



210 ERNEST BROWN; 

" You never truly loved Irene, or yon could not talk 
as you do. ! oould I but win her heart, I should be 
half wild with joy ! " 

" A very easy matter, I should suppose." 

" Do you think so? What has she said? Does she 
ever speak of me?" 

"Another long string of queries ! I see you can 
ask questions, if you cannot talk so glibly as some ; and 
the best way for you to get an answer to them all is to 
go and ask Irene if she will give you her heart and hand, 
and accept yours in exchange." 

" You have no mercy, Henri ! But I will do as you 
say, and if I am rejected I shall not be more miserable 
than I have been. But will her father consent ? " 

"Why not?" 

" Her father is in easy circumstances, and I know that 
he wishes his daughters to marry men of property. Not 
that he is particular about their being very rich ; but he 
Would have them in the possession of a few thousands to 
begin life with, and I have nothing ! " 4 

" But you have a salary of seven hundred dollars a 
year; and, as economical as you are, you must at least 
save half of it." 
. " I do not save one cent ! " 

" That is strange. What can you do with it ? " 

" First tell me why it is that this engagement, made 



BBNBST BBOWH. 211 

under such favorable circumstances, should have ended 
so suddenly." 

" I will do as you wish, Ernest, for it is right that 
you should know." I briefly narrated to him the facts, 
with which the reader is already sufficiently familiar, 
leaving out what was said in relation to him. * He list- 
ened with deep interest, and as though he expected that, 
if Irene loved him, in such a conversation she would at 
least have mentioned his name. 

When I had finished, he appeared disappointed. " You 
look dissatisfied," I remarked; "do not matters stand 
as you would have them ? " 

" Yes ; but she said nothing in relation to me. If she 
had a preference for me, she would have said something 
about it." • " , 

" Perhaps so, and perhaps not ; but you must remem- 
ber the proverb, l A faint heart never won a fair lady ! ' " 

" I will remember it, Now, if you will listen patiently, 
I will give you a brief history of my unhappy life, and 
then^ou will cease to wonder at my sad dulness, and 
fooliS diffidence. 

" I am now twenty-eight years old, and my recollec- 
tion extends back to the time when I had seen but three 
years. I was but three years old when my sister Adellah 
died, who was two years older than I. I remember her 
as being a child of a sweet disposition, who never tired 
of playing with me, and seeking to make me happy. 



212 KBNEST BBOWtf . 

She died suddenly ; and I recollect well that my father 
had struck her a severe blow a few days before, bat why 
I knew not Alas, I bikt too soon learned the cause ! I 
looked at her as she lay in her little coffin, and her face 
was like marble ; the rose had fled from her cheeks, the 
flaxen hair was combed smoothly back, and the laughing 
blue eyes were closed. Her fat, dimpled hands were 
folded upon her breast ; I thought she looked sweetly, as 
she lay there, so still, in that spotless white dress. Alas ! 
, I did not know that it was the shroud of death. I put 
my hand upon her face, and it was cold as ice ! I could 
not comprehend it When they laid her in the grave, 
I was sorrowful and lonely ; they told me she was in 
Heaven, but I wanted her here. Why should God take 
her there? She was not necessary to His happiness, 
but she was to mine. 

"At this time we lived in a large, well-furnished 
house, and all our outward wants were abundantly sup^ 
plied. My mother was a weakly woman, and, I fancied, 
very unhappy. We lived in a country village, a$d my 
father kept store. I soon began to notice that he was 
very different at times : to-day, good-natured, speaking 
kindly to mother, and bestowing a kiss on me ; to-mor- 
row, moody and cross. The dinner was not half cooked, 
and the supper spoiled. I was afraid to go near him ; 
for he sometimes struck me, or pushed me roughly on 
to the floor. When he would leave the house, my mother 



EBNBST BBOWN. 213 

I sit down and weep, as though her heart would 
How often have I put my hands around her 

and begged her to teU me why she cried ! She 
1 kiss me, and say, l Poor Ernest ! don't ask me 

you are too young yet Alas ! that you should 
know.' 
idellah had been dead but a few months, when a 

tiny thing was brought to me, one morning) as I 
1 my bed, and I was told that God had sent me an- 

sister. How thankful* I was ! My young heart 
brimfull of joy; now I should be happy again. 

young dream was never fulfilled; for the horrid 
. soon forced itself upon me, that my father was a 
kard ! I but half realized my misfortune then ; 
to my deeply sensitive nature, it was enough to 
> the world, bright and lovely as it is, look dark, 
mid have darkened paradise ! 
Put your hand upon my head; you see I h$ve but 
reverence. The reason why veneration is so small, 
cause I never loved and reverenced a father. I 
1 not love him, for he was not always kind and 
e to his children, as a father should be ; he abused 
aother, and almost broke her heart, ere the calamity 
ened 3jrhich stripped us of all we possessed. Parents 
»lain% of the want of reverence in their children ; who 

blame? Let them conduct themselves in such a 
ler that their children cannot help loving and vener- 



214 KKNJMT BROWN. 

ftting them, and then will they reverence the aged, (rod, 
and all good. How could I hare reverence for men or 
God, when my father was intemperate? The little child 
sees his heavenly Father through his earthly parent, as 
we look through nature up to nature's God. But I am 
moralizing; and it is no wonder, when I have so suffered 
from the effects of intemperance, and have seen so much 
ruin caused by the accursed vice. Hours and hours 
have I dwelt upon this theme, and thought how different 
would have been my life, if my father had not been a 
drunkard, — how different I should have been, — how 
much misery I should have escaped, and happiness en- 
joyed." 

"It is not well," I remarked, "to let your mind 
dwell upon such painful subjects." 

" You are right, and I have done it too long ; but I 
will briefly tell you all, and try to think less of them 
hereafter. When I was five years old another child was 
born, a little girl, who afterwards resembled Adellah; 
but she was a pale, weakly thing, and she remained 
with us but a few years. Soon after her birth, I was 
told, by my weeping mother, that my father had failed; 
I did not know what foiling meant, but I was certain 
that a great calamity had befallen us. We soon after 
removed to an unclapboarded house, containing only 
three small and unfinished rooms; our carpets, our nice 
chairs, our best beds and looking-glasses, were all gone. 



ERNEST BROWN. 215 

0, how desolate and gloomy seemed that old house ! I 
shall never forget, to my dying day, how woe-begone my 
mother looked, as she entered that building, with little 
Laura in her arms. ( my God ! ' she cried, ' little 
did I dream that I should ever come to this ! ' We had 
but few comforts now, and the world looked drear 
enough. 

"My father, instead of forsaking his cups, and trying 
to retrieve his fallen fortunes, sank rapidly to the lowest 
depths of the detestable inebriate ; he worked at different 
places, spending part of his earnings for rum, and with 
the rest buying the cheapest and coarsest articles of food. 
My mother, who was keenly sensitive and high-spirited, 
labored ha& to keep her children looking clean and 
decent. Two other children were afterwards added to 
our family, both boys. Father became bloated and 
ragged, and as selfish as sin ; intemperance bloated and 
swelled his body, but shrivelled up his soul. He wanted 
so much money for rum, that he was ever anxious that 
his children should not consume any more food than 
nature required. This, and other things, made us as 
voracious as swine ; and we all became selfish and mean, 
each one striving to get the largest share of the poor food 
provided for us. 

" I tremble to think what we might have been, if we 
had not had a good mother, who carefully looked after our 
welfare, and sought to instil good principles into our 



216 ERNEST BR0WK. 

minds. Oar home was, nevertheless, often the scene of 
bitter altercations, and mutual upbraidings, until I came 
to dread my father's approach ; the dull echo of his 
heavy footsteps fell upon my young heart like the death- 
knell to happiness. How horrid is the thought that a 
father should so conduct himself as to make his presence 
hateful to his children ! 

" I soon learned, and to my sorrow, that the sins of 
the father were visited upon his children in a way that 
made my life a still greater burden; my play-mates and 
school-mates looked down upon me. 0, heavens ! I 
knew they regarded me as a drunkard's child; I felt 
that the finger of scorn was pointed at me, and it 
burnt into my heart as though it had been fire ! I 
quailed beneath it, and could no longer hold up my head. 
The more I bent under the heavy weight that was laid 
upon me, the more was I scorned. You have a nature 
keenly sensitive, Henri, and you may judge what I suf- 
fered. I was naturally very fond of the beautiftrl ; every 
flower talked to me, and every tree waved me a welcome, 
and looked compassionately upon me, as if bending in 
benediction. I gazed into the blue sky by day and by 
night, and loved it ; for all its starry eyes beamed with 
holy smiles. I delighted to quench my spirit's thirst 
with the airy waters which floated in light and beauty 
in the limitless ocean above me. But I could not live 
on these alone ; what little child can 1 I craved the love, 



BEHEST BROWN. 217 

and sympathy, and respect, of my fellow-beings; I 
mated to be on an equality with children of my own 
age. But of what avail was this wish in my young and 
bleeding heart 1 How could I be considered equal, when 
I was so poor, and my lather a drunkard? I could not 
dress like them,— I had not books, as they had. Curse 
them ! They have spit upon me, to show their con- 
tempt ! How often have I wished for a lightning-bolt, 
that I might crush them, and be revenged ! Had I been 
made of sterner stuff j and possessed a less sensitive 
nature, I might have escaped much of this, and returned 
scorn for scorn, insult for insult, and blow for blow ; but, 
as it was,1 suffered with an intensity corresponding with 
my sensitiveness. The poisonous tooth of scorn eat 
into my heart's core, and the fountain of life was made 
bitter as gall. God ! the time came when not a star 
Bmiled for me, — not a spire of grass sprung up to carpet 
nay rough and uneven way, — not a flower tossed to me 
* fragrant kiss with its rosy fingers, and the bow in the 
clouds, with its seven beautiful colors, embracing the 
earth, as the seven attributes of the Almighty encircle 
the children of His love, had no attractive loveliness for 
me; all was dark, dismal, and black as death! The 
%ht which had shone for me, when a little child, had 
grown fainter and fainter, until the flickering blaze had 
expired. 
"When my sister Laura died I shed no tears, for I 
19 



218 KRNBST BROW*. 

never wept now ; yet still I mourned her loss, but at 
the same time I thought how much better it was for her 
than to live, and suffer as I did. One of the most 
harrowing thoughts which continually beset me was, that 
people looked upon me as little better than a fool ; I fan- 
cied they regarded me as a half-witted boy. So much 
did I dwell upon this, that there were times when 
I thought they were right. * Surely,' thought I, C I 
am not like other children. I am imposed upon daily. 
Why should I be, if I am not a fool?' 0, what 
thoughts were these ! How they racked my brain, and 
lay like lead upon my heart ! 

" All this time there were deep feelings in my breast, 
intense as the burning rays of the meridian sun, in 
July's hottest days. There were passions sleeping like 
lava fires, and sympathies warm and truthful, which had 
often broken the icy wall around them, and leaped forth, 
like the torrent down the mountain-side ; but so cold, so 
freezing, was their reception, that they were ever sent 
back, quivering and gasping, upon my . heart ! My 
mother still loved me, and labored for my good; and 
this was one bright spot in my dark life. What should 
I not have become, if it had not been for her ? I am 
mistaken ! The world was not all dark, all sorrow, all 
gloom. One star did shine for me ! 

" When I was twelve I was sent away from home to 
live with those who had no sympathy for me, nor I for 



ERNEST BROWN. 219 

I could not please them, for they did not under- 
stand my nature. They treated me decently well, and 
worked me beyond my strength. It was torture to me, 
for I had no heart in it My father's career was still 
downward, and his family continued to suffer qiore and 
more. One after another of the children died, until none 
were left but Mary and me ; she was the one born soon 
after the death of Adellah. When I was sixteen, my 
father died ; I did not wish him to die, and yet I was 
not sorry when the cold earth shut him from my sight 
forever ! 

" The support of my mother and sister now devolved 
upon me. I did not shrink from the responsibility, but 
removed them far away from the harrowing scenes 
through which we had passed, and commenced, as it were, 
a new life. My mother's health was completely broken 
down, and God knows why she lived through so much 
trouble. Mary nursed her with a daughter's affection* 
ate care, and the fruit of my labors brought us a decent 
support. I began once more to hold up my head ; but a 
diffidence and reserve hung about me, which I could not 
shake off, and I never have to this day. I am sorrowful, 
but I never weep ; I am joyful, yet there is still bitter- 
ness. Nature has once more opened her stores of beauty, 
and she has bid me select the richest gems, without 
money and without price. The heavens look down upon 



220 SBNBST BROWN. 

me in love, the flowers spring up smiling at my feet, and 
every little child gives me a kindly glance. 

" I loved Irene Dinneford, the first time I saw her ; and 
when I thought that she was lost to me forever, I was 
fearful that thick gloom would once more shroud the uni- 
verse. Gould I but have the assurance that she loves me 
with that absorbing passion with which I love her, I 
believe I should be a different being ; — the long pent-up 
emotions would gush forth, the ice around my heart 
would melt, and I should joy to weep ©ace more. 

" You wonder why I did not declare my love. I could 
not. I thought of my poverty, of those who were 
depending upon me for support, and I felt that I should 
be rejected. I would rather dream on. I would not 
darken so fair a heaven. I knew that a respectable young 
man had offered his hand to Agues, and her father had 
persuaded her to reject him on account of his poverty. 
What could I expect ? " 

" He could not so persuade Irene," I remarked. 

*' I have often thought so, but I had not sufficient self- 
confidence/ You may judge, Henri, what were my feel- 
ings, when I learned that you were engaged to her. I 
cursed you, in the bitterness of my heart. Then I felt 
how unjust I was, and what mean thoughts were festering 
and cankering in my breast. I watched you closely, and 
I soon convinced myself that you did not love Irene with 
that intense devotion of which a nature like yours or mine 



ERNEST BROWN. 221 

s capable. That your regard for her was what the world 
would call love, I had no doubt ; but that it was not true 
conjugal affection, I was well persuaded. I speculated 
much as to what her feelings were for you ; but I ever 
felt there was more of respect than love. 0, how 
ardently I wished that I could have been the one to have 
saved her, when her life was in peril! Then bitter 
thoughts would canker in my heart again, and I would 
curse my unhappy fate. I sometimes wished that you 
might prove to be a villain, seeking her ruin, and I 
might be made the instrument to save her from your 
hands ! I acknowledge the meanness, the baseness and 
the depravity, of these thoughts ; but they would spring 
up in my breast, like noxious weeds in a bed of flowers, 
— I could not keep them down. My mother has now 
almost entirely regained her health, and Mary is to be 
married in a few weeks. When I visit my mother, she 
looks so well, so contented and happy, I feel that my life 
has not been in vain. There is one bright spot. A 
retrospective glance is painful ; but that one green spot 
is beautiful to the eyes of my ever weary spirit, even 
though it be enriched with tears that fall only from the 
heart ! " 

" Give me your hand, Ernest," I said, greatly affected 
by this narrative, by which a bleeding heart was laid bare 
before my eyes ; " and forgive me for the words which I , 
19* 



222 nwsra« raowifc 

uttered just ww, when half angry. I knew you n$t» a 
I should not have spoken as I did." 

" I have as much reason to ask forgiveness as you." 

" I think not; for my object was to irritate you, and 
then cancel my wickedness by telling you< good news. I 
also suffered in my younger days, and keenly too, or I 
should not be so passionate as I am. Ernest, you. will 
yet be happy." 

" Thank you for the prophecy ; but it seems almost 
impossible. My life has hitherto been so dark, so hope- 
less, it is difficult to persuade myself that the future shall 
be bright But, were I convinced that Irene loved me, 
I should doubt no more." 

" What if her parents should prove to be an obstacle 
iu the way?" 

" That would be a misfortune ; but it would not destroy 
my felicity, for I should still have her love, and, with 
that, I would defy the darkest storms of adversity ! I 
should no more be alone ; but my heart, long estranged, 
would have something to cling to. They might separate 
us, — the ocean might roll between us, — but I should still 
be conscious that I was not alone! Our spirits would 
meet, — our thoughts leap over the wide ocean, as light 
leaps from star to star ! I do not believe it possible to 
separate those who love ; — death cannot do it ! " 

" You are more : eloquent than I supposed it possible 
for you to be. You remind me of rain, after a drouth ; 



EBNKST BBOWN. 228 

when it once begins to fell, there is little cessation, until 
the earth is watered and the springs all full. I see that 
the ice is breaking up, and sweet spring is coming. Sut 
you haye a curious theory in relation to lovers. Accord- 
ing to your idea, they cannot be separated. Place oceans 
between you and those you love, and you would feel 
differently." 

" Can you make the flowers look unlovely ? Can you 
darken the eyes of the stars ? Can you steal away the 
tints of the rainbow ? Can you sever the chjrin that links 
humanity to its God ? No ! And you cannot separate 
the spitfts of those whose beings are one. They bid 
defiance to time, space, eternity ! " 

Our conversation was here interrupted by the entrance 
of customers. Mr. Dinaeford came soon after, and we 
did not resume it *gain. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

MR. DINNEFORD. — MUTUAL LOVE. 

In the afternoon, I asked Mr. Dinneford if he would 
take a walk on the Battery. He readily assented, and 
thither we directed our steps. It was a lovely day, and 
many had walked out to enjoy it, and breathe the fresh 
air, and let it beat full and strong against their cheeks, 
pale and sallow from long confinement in doors. The 
children, rolling their hoops and running and shouting, 
seemed the happiest of the happy. 

As soon as I could summon sufficient courage, I 
broached the subject on my mind. 

" I have invited you here," I said, " to speak on a 
subject which, under the circumstances, must be painful 
to us both." 

"What can it be? Is the partnership business dis- 
tasteful to you?" 

" It is." 

" Why so?" 

"I don't like the mercantile business, and I have 
determined to leave it." 

" You ought to have known that a month ago." 



MB. DOTJEFOBD. — XUTPAl LOYB. 225 

11 I did know it ; and the reason why I consented to 
ftis partnership was becanse — I— expected to — to — 
toarry — Irene." 

"You expected ! And do you not expect to marry 
iernow, pray?" 

"To be candid witli you, Mr. Dinneford, I do not" 

" Are you joking, Henri, or do yoa say what yon 
mean?" 

" I mean what X haye said." 

"I am astonished! Sut why is this? What has 
happened, to change your mind, after the day was set ? " 

" We made the discovery that we did not love each 
other." 

" A wonderful discovery, truly f It is aH Greek to 
me. Are you sure that Irene does not love you? " 

"*I know she does aot." 

"A very ridiculous affair ! A courtship commenced 
under the most romantic circumstances, the day set for the 
wedding, and a partnership entered into with the father ; 
and, after all, the parties do not love each other ! Very 
strange, — very incomprehensible ! " 

" And yet, I trust, you believe it." 

" I suppose I must, since you say so. But, if you 
have not loved each other, you are both consummate 
hypocrites! ih 

" A harsh judgment" 

" Not a whit too harsh. Haven't you been billing 



226 MR. DINNEPOBD. — MtJTtJAL LOVE. 

and cooing, these two or three months, — never satisfied 
unless together? Why should you both manifest so 
much love, if you did not possess it? " 

" We tried to love, but could not." 

" Most likely I shall believe you, — two young people 
bo well fitted for each other ! There is some mystery 
about this sudden freak. I don't understand it at all." 

" It does look strange, I acknowledge, but no more 
strange than true. My affections are placed upon another, 
and so are Irene's." 

" Well, I suppose the mystery will be cleared up, some 
time ; but it looks dark now, and will be a severe disap- 
pointment to me and my family." 

" That is what we both most regretted." 

" Did Irene speak of that ? " 

"Yes, and she feared that you would chide her 
angrily* aad th e thought made her very unhappy ; for 
she said that an angry word she had never heard you 
speak." 

" She is a good girl, and I will not be angry with her. 
In losing her, Henri, you lose a treasure, worth more 
titan gold!" 

11 I know her worth well. You have reason to be 
proud of her." 

" And yet you give her up without one regret ! " 

" No, no ! — but I — I am attached to another." 

" Who is the favored one ? I think I ought to know." 



MIL DINNEFORD. — MUTUAL LOVE. 227 

" A young girl whom I delivered from a brutal mas- 
ter, by stratagem. She was but eleven years old then." 

" Your first love, I suppose. I wish you had found it 
out before. Perhaps you may find one or two more you 
have benefited in a similar way ; if so, woe to the one 
who has your affections now ! " 

" You are not candid. I can never love another as I 
love her." 

" I hope you will be very sure of it before you again 
set the day to be married, or form another partnership." 

" I shall." 

"Did you say Irene had formed an attachment for 
someone?" 

" I did." 

" Are you at liberty to give me his name 1 " 

"Yes — no, — but I suppose I may, without doing 
•wrong. It is Ernest Brown." 

" Ernest Brown ! I am surprised more and more. Are 
you certain of what you say ? " 

" I am." 

"It does not look likely to me that she would prefer 
him to you ; but there is no accounting for tastes." 

" Love will go where it is sent, you know."- 

" So I should think. What are his feelings towards 
her?" 

" The same as hers towards him." 

"This state of things I regret. Ernest is well 



228 MB. DINNEFOBD. — MUTUAL LOVB. 

enough ; but he is not such a man as I should hare 
chosen for Irene, — he would do better for Agnes. " 
" You are mistaken, sir ; yon don't know Ernest" 
11 You may be right, but he is very poor." 
" He has a noble mind and soul ; and I hope you frill 
not withhold your approval oir account of his poverty." 
" I would like to know what he does with his salary." 
" Supports a sick mother, and a sister who takes catt 
of her; — what nobler use could he make of it?" 

" I will inquire into this matter ; and, if what you say 
is true, I will not be an obstacle in the way of their hap- 
piness. If Ernest has been the dutiful son you have 
represented him to be, I shall be proud to own him as my 
daughter's husband. Far, better that she should many 
a virtuous poor man than a vicious rich one." 

We here fell in with a gentleman of Mr. Dimieford's 
acquaintance, and they having some business matters to 
talk over, I went to the shop. There were no custom- 
ers in, and I told Mr. Brown that he might be as expedi- 
tious as he pleased, for all things were favorable, — so he 
had better strike while the iron was hot. 
* " What do you mean ? " he inquired. 

" What do I mean ? Why, how dull you are, Ernest ! 
Are you not aware that the heaven, which you would not 
have any brighter, if you could, can now be gained by a 
little effort?" 

" You are real heartless, to joke in that way." 



MB. DIKNBFOBD.— MUTUAL LOVB. 229 

"I am not joking; but I want you to take time by the 
fore-lock, — that is all." 

"Please explain yourself." 

"Well, some folks are stupid. What I mean is simply 
this : you must go and see Irene, and declare your love." 

" Don't call me stupid, for I am rather sensitive on 
that point. The joke has too much truth in it But 
when must I, most excellent master, do the thing which 
you require at my hands?" 

" To-night ; this very evening." 

" I shall not obey." 

"Why not?" 

" It was but last evening that your engagement termi- 
nated. She would not wish to form another so soon. 
Nor would she suppose that I knew anything about it, and 
she would think me very presumptuous. It would show a 
lack of delicacy, on my part, to broach the subject now." 

" Well, do as you think best ; but I should not wait." 

" You always go on the high-pressure principle ; but I 
cannot." 

In a few days after this, I wrote to Helen Means, 
informing her that my engagement with Irene had come 
to an end, and that I should soon return home. 

One morning, about two weeks from the time we held 
our last conversation, when Ernest came into the shop I 
could but gaze upon him with surprise. I was looking 
20 



280 ME. DIKNOTOKD. — MUTUAL LOVE. 

for a change sometime, but not one so great as his coun- 
tenance indicated. 

His pale cheeks were flashed, and his dull eyes flashed 
with a radiant brightness. They seemed to be illumined 
by a wild light, softened by the presence of pure joy and 
unalloyed happiness. As I looked at his beaming coun- 
tenance, I felt that the long imprisoned spirit had been 
released from its bondage. ! what a power there is in 
love to make the darkest skies bright, the most hopeless 
lot beautiful as a smiling landscape on a summer's morn! 
Those who truly love are invincible. This solidarity of 
hearts renders them impervious to the world's scorn or 
hate. Rather, I should say, renders it; for the two make 
but one. Separate and alone, we are fractions, exposed to 
many temptations and adversities; we are weak, and 
when the storms of life beat upon us we bend beneath 
them in bitter agony, unable to stand up and face them 
manfully. United, we become entire, — the two make 
one, and the weakness becomes power ; like a three-fold 
cord, it cannot be broken. The strength of the two ' 
becomes, the strength of the one ; their powers melt and 
mingle together and consolidate, and, though soft as the 
petals of a rose, they are harder than the rock. Soft to 
humanity's touch, but to the cold fingers of misfortune 
and injustice hard as flint. 

I rallied Ernest on his improved appearance, telling 



* MR. DINtfEFORD. — MUTUAL LOVE. 231 

lim, however, that he had looked the misanthrope, but 
now the maniac. 

"I shall not crave your mercy," he replied; " for I 
have a shield now that will render all your shafts imper- 
vious." 

" The shield of love, perchance. Much good may it 
do you ! How many hours did you sleep, last night ? " 

" I will tell you when you inform me what right you 
have to ask such questions ?" 

" Of course you understand what right I have. I am 
your good genius, you know." 

" I had forgotten that fact ; but what right has my good 
genius to ask saucy questions ? " 

" Saucy questions ! You are improving very fast. I 
see that people change with circumstances. But how 
about those tears, — was there a regular deluge ? I fancy 
that I can trace the course of the torrents, which rushed 
with mighty inpetuosity over your face." 

" Come, come, that will do. I am happier than I was, 
and I believe that my cup will yet be brimming with joy." 

" I hope so." 

" Thank you. I thought, soon after you came here, 
that you would prove a deadly curse to me ; but, instead 
of that, although your presence has caused me hours of 
sorrow, it has been all for the best, for you have been the 
means of doing me great good." 



282 MB. DINNBFOBD. — MUTUAL LOVB. % 

" Bat greater injury, I fear; butl am willing to square 
accounts." 

" So am I; and may you be as happy as I now hope to 
be!" 

" 0, 1 shall be; never fear for me!" 

" You speak with assurance, and I hope you will not 
be disappointed." 

" I hope so, too. Depend upon it> Ernest, the future 
has bright skies and sunshine for us both." 



CHAPTER XX. 

DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

I now had the pleasure of meeting Ernest and Irene 
frequently together. It made me happier and better, to 
see how happy they were. In feelings, hopes and sympa- 
thies, they were one. I knew that their union, should it 
ever take place, would be a true one ; for the silken chain 
of love had so bound them that death itself could not 
sever it. They did not manifest so much sickly senti- 
mentality that they might be called, as a quaint writer 
has expressed it, "a couple of lumps of love; " and yet 
you could see that love was the attraction that drew them 
together, and made them one. And therein was union, 
devotion, self-sacrifice, truth, honor, and beauty as joyous 
as heaven. Marriage without such love, is but a tragic 
farce. 

At the request of Mr. Dinneford, Ernest gave him a 
truthful account of his life, which showed his character 
in its true light. 

" You have suffered so much,'' said he, " that God for- 
bid that I should stand in the way of your happiness ! " 

The moody dulness and diffidence of Mr. Brown 
gradually wore away, as the fogs leave the valleys 
20* 



284 DEATH OF MY MOTHBB. 

when the son poors its rays down upon them, causing 
them to creep up their sides, and disappear over the moun- 
tain tops. The sun of love now shone around Jbim, &■ 
persing the shadows of a woful life. 

I now determined to remain in New York until the 
time had expired for which I had bargained. Ernest, 
instead of leaving on the first of January, renewed his 
engagement for another year, his salary being increased 
two hundred dollars. When my time had nearly expired, 

I received the following letter from brother Thomas : 

"I feel it a duty, my brother, to inform you that 
" mother is sinking rapidly. She has not long to live 
"in this world. She does not speak of you ; and yet I 
"know she would be glad to see you. She has not 
"set eyes upon you for a number of years, and it 
"must be a relief to her overburdened heart to see 
"you once more. Be sure and come. You need not 
" fear the deacon, for you are a man now. No doubt, 
" when you see him, you will love him as well as you ever 
" did. And why should you not love your venerable 

II father ? The deacon is now sixty years old, but his 
" hair is black as it ever was. There is a secret con- 
nected with this; he colors it once a month. No 
" vanity in that, — of course not ! Shall I draw the old 
"man's portrait? I will do it faithfully ; for I do so 
" want you to love him, when next you meet ! 



DEATH OF MY MOTHJEB. 235 

" It is some time since you saw your loving parent ; 
"and, as I fear you may have forgotten some of the items, 
"I will put them all in. He is standing now in front of 
"the house, and I can see him from where I am writing 
"(with my mind's eye, I can always see him). There he 
"is, full six feet high, broad-shouldered, and looking very 
" black in the face. His ugly, staring eyes have that 
" same glare as when you were accustomed to see him, 
"only more so. The high cheek-bones are more promi- 
nent than ever, for the swarthy cheeks have fallen in. 
"The forehead is wrinkled and knotty, and the great 
" shaggy eyebrows look savage as a bear. His mouth 
" is more ugly than ever, and his few remaining teeth 
" have that yellowish-black appearance which is usually 
" produced by long acquaintance with a filthy tobacco- 
" pipe. His whole physiognomy has that same ugly, 
" Pharisaical look as of yore, — only it has increased with 
"age. His temper and disposition have been growing 
" worse and worse, from year to year, ever since you left 
"home. His prayers have so increased in length, that 
" they give you the best idea of an eternity of punish- 
"ment of anything you can possibly have. He is still 
"considered a burning and shining light in the church; 
" that is> by some people. He frets, and scolds, and prays, 
" and talks of God and eternity, more and more. At 
" every religious meeting you are sure to find him ; and 
" who, among all the saints, can sing so loud, talk so do- 



286 DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

" quently of Christian duty, or pray so long! He is 
"shocked at all kinds of amusements. A ball-room he 
" considers a hell upon earth ; and to play a simple game 
" of whist, a sin almost unpardonable. He believes in 
" the salvation of but a few ; the rest are to be eternally 
" wretched. I have heard him say that he had no hope 
" of his former wife, and was "doubtful in relation to little 
"Katyj — he was fearful they were forever lost! 
" In met, he is a perfect enigma to me ; for he appears to 
" be sincere. 

" You will think the above remarks entirely out of 
" place, commencing, as I did, with an account of the ill- 
" ness of mother. But he now treats her so shamefully 
" that I could not help bringing him before you. He 
"has no little children now to abuse and trample upon, 
" and so he heaps all his abuse upon his wife. He tells 
" her that she is not that pious, devoted woman he sup- 
" posed her to be when he married her; she has been 
" worldly-minded, caring more for the things of earth 
" than for things of the kingdom. He taunts her con- 
" tinually about her children, whom he calls devils, chil- 
"dren for the fire. So fiercely does he look, at times, 
" that he frightens her ; and I should not wonder if she 
" fancied him to be the arch-fiend himself. 

"It is hard to endure these things ; but what can I do? 
" The world's people have no more faith in him now than 
" have you or I; but the church sustains him. I prophesy 



DEATH OF ICY MOTHER. 237 

"that it will not, much longer. I suppose that he has 
"been a hypocrite so many years, it has become a second 
"nature with him. He is terribly mean and miserly, and 
"sometimes I think that his soul is v so small he need 
"not trouble himself as to its fete. He will yet become 
" a vile, sordid miser, or I am no prophet 

" Jane would have been married, ere this, but she felt 
" it her duty to remain with mother. I am glad she has 
" done so, for mother is better taken care of than she 
" could have been had she left. Do not delay your com- 
" ing many days, or it may be too late. Spring is with us 
"once more, and the showers and sunshine have covered 
" the ear& with verdure, young, fresh, and beautiful. 
" Alas ! that when nature is awakening to newness of life, 
" death should be so near ! Thomas Eaton. 5 ' 

It was now May, and my engagement had nearly 
expired. In the mean time I arranged everything for a 
speedy departure to my long-forsaken home, — a home 
which still had attractions, for all my brothers and sisters 
were there, and I had not forgotten that it was once the 
home of my father and my darling Herbert, and that there 
they both died, breathing ouj; the most faithful love for 
me. I was going to see jpy mother, from whom, I had 
long been separated, and for whom I had no filial' affec- 
tion ; for but little parental love had she ever manifested 
for me. My feelings towards her were more akin to hate 



288 DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

than love. Bat she was on her death-bed now, and it 
was my duty to see her once more, and bid her spirit 
depart in peace. 

When I came in view of my boyhood's home, a thou- 
sand thoughts rushed upon my mind, — some pleasing, but 
more sad and unhappy. I was delighted to behold again 
those old familiar scenes. There was the old dwelling- 
house, surrounded with beautiful trees, many of which had 
grown quite large in my absence j they were now about 
clothing themselves with a coat of young and tender 
leaves, and they looked so beautiful, so inviting, that it 
was hard to think that in that building which they over- 
shadowed like the wings of a guardian angel was so 
much wrong and suffering. Willis' beautiful lines were 
brought forcibly to my mind : 

" How strikingly the course of nature tells, 
By its light heed of human -suffering, 
That it was fashioned for a happier world ! " 

The fields all around were brightening with the upspring- 
ing verdure, and the hills and woods were glad in the 
smiling sunlight. The earth was beautiful, and the 
heavens glorious. The sunbeams looked golden on hill 
and vale and waving foresVjtree ; the air was soft and 
warm, and the birds sang *fn the trees or carolled 
on the wing, as they flew from bower to bower, from 
green hills to greener valleys. " And can it be," thought 
I, "that in the very midst of this loveliness, harmony 



DEATH OP MY MOTHEB. 239 

and beauty, there is sickness and pain, — that the one 
who gave me birth is nigh unto the gates of death? 
Alas ! it is so. And here, amid this rural scenery, this 
God-created harmony, this heart-uplifting and soul- 
inspiring beauty, have lived, from year to year, those 
created a * little lower than the angels/ and yet foul, 
dark things in the midst of purity and light, — serpents 
in Paradise, devils in heaven ! Professing much- godli- 
ness, but destitute of love, charity and kindness ; praying 
often, but never worshipping in spirit and in truth. In 
the midst of beauty the most ravishing and delightful, 
deformed and offensive. Surrounded with harmony, but 
an eternal discord. With love glowing in every sun- 
beam, whispered by every zephyr, written on every leaf, 
breathing from every flower, melting from every bird- 
note, and smiling from every star, bearing about with them 
hearts filled with hatred and bitterness, — their thirsty* 
souls never once drinking in a refreshing draught from 
this ocean of light and life ! " 

I gazed long and thoughtfully down the road that led 
to the school-house, which I had often travelled in my 
younger days, — my bitter life refreshed by thoughts which 
cheered my heart, as though they had been whispered by 
angels. I co uld see, far away, a gleam or two of the dark 
waters of my favorite stream, where I had watched the 
beautifully-i inted fish, and where my good spirit led me 
in my dream. The cattle fed in the pastures near by, as 



240 DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

of yore, and the sheep were cropping the grass on the 
side of a distant hill. How glad I was to feast my eyes 
upon these old familiar scenes ! I performed the last part 
of my journey in an open wagon, that I might the better 
enjoy the scenery through which I should pass. -At my 
request, when approaching my boyhood's home, I was 
driven very slowly ; and hence had time for observation, 
thought and reflection. 

I was met at the door by sister Jane, who expressed 
great thankfulness that I had come *in season. As I 
entered, I saw the deacon, looking darker and more repug- 
nant than I had ever seen him before. He was sitting in 
an old-fashioned kitchen chair, smoking his detestable 
black pipe. When his eyes fell on me, he arose, and, with 
a look like a demon, asked, " What brings you here?" 
He had recognized me at the first glance. I did not sup- 
pose he would know me. A beseeching look from Jane 
prevented my answering him. She led me to another 
" room, where I could be free from his presence. Here 
a fire was kindled, and here I soon had the pleasure of 
seeing my brothers -and other sisters ; and here, in 
spite of the deacon's grumbling, we took our meals, 
undisturbed by him, or any of the hateful tribe. 

In the afternoon I was told that mother would see me. 
I entered the room, and , was surprised to witness the 
change which had taken place since I last saw her. 
The full, red cheeks were pale and sunken ; the fierce, 



DEATH OF MY MOTHBB. 241 

bright eye dull and listless ; the red lips white as death ; 
her hands were white and skinny, her body poor and 
emaciated. She was but a miserable wreck of the once 
strong and healthy woman. Her countenance gave evi= 
dence of cruel suffering. I had cherished hatred for my 
own mother, and some of the bitterness which had sprung 
up in my heart when a child had lingered still. But 
when I saw her reduced so low, and read of so much 
anguish in every lineament of her face, every vestige of 
hate departed forever ; and, though I did not love her, I 
pitied her from the bottom of my heart, and I would not, 
for my life, have added one pang to her already over- 
burdened soul, by look, word or deed. When I ap- 
proached her bedside she looked up, inquiringly, and 
said, in a faint voice, 

"Is this Henri Eaton?" 

" It is, mother ; do you not know me 7 " 

" 0, yes ; I now see your father's looks very plainly. 
Are you well ? " extending her feeble hand. 

I took it and pressed it slightly, replying that I was 
in very good health, and I was sorry to find her so low. 

" I have not long to live," she answered ; " and I am 
glad you have come. How you have grown ! I can see 
more and more of your father's looks. Henri, your 
father was a good man." 

" I am very glad to hear you say so, mother." 

" I did not know it when he was living ; but I know 
21 



242 DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

it now. Henri, can you forgive your poor, sick mother 
the wrong she did you when a child ? " 

" Forgive you ? Yes, mother, with all my heart ; and 
wherein I have done wrong, may you extend to me as 
free a pardon ! " 

" I did that long ago, Henri ; for I felt that you were 
but little to blame. You had your father's active tem- 
perament, and you were more passionate than was ever 
your mother. But, had I treated you as a mother should, 
you would have been different. Since I married Deacon 
Webber, and especially since I have lain upon a sick bed, 
I have had ample time to think of all these things. I 
felt that I could not die in peace until I had the assur- 
ance of your forgiveness ; but you were so passionate and 
revengeful that I dreaded to see you, for fear you would 
overwhelm me with bitter curses, and bring up again the 
old scenes of agony through which we had passed. 
Those scenes caused you much suffering then, but they 
have caused me more since. Until within a few days, I 
have seldom mentioned your name ; and when I expressed 
a wish to see you, I was told that you had been sent for. 
I was thankful, and yet I dreaded the moment when 
mother and child would meet again. But the bitterness 
is past, and I shall now die in peace. I find that you 
are as ready to forgive as you are to hate; and it is well 
for you that you are. Cherish this spirit of forgiveness, 



DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 243 

fcr it will do you good. The more I have forgiven, the 
better I feel, and the more willing am I to die." 

Here a violent fit of coughing came on. which lasted so 
long that we were not able to resume our conversation 
until the next day. 

When I visited her again, I was happy to observe that 
her countenance wore a less troubled expression, was more 
calm and serene. She smiled when she saw me, and in 
such a manner as to warm my heart; for it seemed to me 
to fee the first real motherly smile that I had ever 
received from her. I was glad to receive it now. 

" We were talking, last night," she said, " in relation, 
to forgiving those who have injured us. I have felt the 
necessity of pardon from those whom I have wronged ; and 
God knows that, whatever my feelings have been, I as 
freely forgive those who have injured me, as I would 
have them forgive the wrongs I have inflicted. 

" There is one, Henri, whom I greatly wronged ; and, 
if she would freely forgive, I could die happy." 

" And will she not, — now that you are drawing nigh 
to the gates of death, — now that you have so brief a 
period to spend in this worlci ? " 

" I do not know. But I did not realize then what a 
terrible sin it was to counsel a cruel man to most 
cruelly abuse a little child. Reflection and observation 
have taught me that the injuries she received at my 



244 DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 

hands were very great. The worst of cruelty is that 1 
which is inflicted upon a child." 

"To whom do you refer?" I inquired, a good de 
agitated. 

" To the little girl who, through your aid, escaped from 
Deacon Webber." 

" And you would have her forgiveness ? " 

" Yes ; for I counselled the deacon to adopt the most 
rigorous and cruel measures, in order to make her obey 
him in all things ; for, he said, she was very stubborn and 
disobedient. I now feel that, however much she might 
have been to blame, even if she were as wicked and 
abandoned as the deacon said she was, the treatment 
which I advised was most cruel and unjust." 

" I am glad to hear you say so. But Helen Means 
never deserved ill or harsh treatment at all ; for she was 
always pure and good. Uncle and aunt will tell you 
that she is an angel." 

" Does she live with them ? " 

" Yes, and has, ever since she left Deacon Webber." 

" Strange that I have never known she was there ! " 

" I supposed you did. Have neither of the children 
mentioned her name ? " 

" No, nor I to them. If she is as faultless as you 
say, she has much to forgive; for her treatment was 
nothing but absolute cruelty. May God forgive me for 
being an accessory in so foul a crime ! " 



DEATH OF MY MOTHEB. 245 

" But you thought she was wicked and abandoned." 

"Yes, and I now see, more clearly than ever, the 
character of the man to whom I gave my hand in mar- 
riage. 0, bitterly have I repented that fetal step ! Do 
you think Helen Means would forgive me, when I so 
have wronged her ? " 

" Forgive ! Yes, and fell upon your neck and mingle 
her tears of sympathy with your tears of suffering. But 
she has nothing to forgive now." 

"Why not?" 

" She forgave you at the time, and chided me for the 
harsh epithets which I freely applied to you. She for- 
gave all her enemies, — even Deacon Webber." 

" She must have been a beautiful child. I thought 
you very wicked then, in aiding her escape; but I 
now see that you acted right, and God will reward 
you." 

" I have already received my reward; it came in the 
deed. So happy was I that sh$ had escaped and found a 
safe asylum, that I could have suffered anything without 
a murmur." 

" Happy are those who do good as they have oppor- 
tunity ; for they have joy which the mere pleasure-seeker 
can never know. My character may have seemed strange 
to you, Henri, and it would be strange if it had not. 
Take down the bead bag, that hangs by the window, and 
21* 



246 DEATH OF MY MOJflBB. 

in it you will find a key, which will unlock the little 
drawer in the secretary. In that drawer is a sealed pack- 
age, which I intrust to you, the seal not to be broken 
until I am in my grave. When the cold earth lies above 
me, then read it, and think as well of your mother as you 
can. I hope it may soften the feelings which your treat* 
ment in childhood must have caused. Now leave me ; for 
I am very weary, and fain would rest" 

My mother lingered but a few days more, and then fell 
into the peaceful slumber of death. So kind, so gentle 
was she to me in her last hours, that I wept long when 
she died. I felt rthat I had lost my mother. She had so 
changed, during the last year, that the other children were 
deeply afflicted. We wept together, happy that we could 
feel to weep. 

Uncle and Aunt Eaton and Mrs. Stewart came to zpy 
mother's funeral ; but they did not bring Helen, as I 
desired. They said she was well, but chose not to come, 
and they did not urge her. 

We now made the best arrangements we could for the 
deacon to leave, and his family. Happy were we to see 
the house freed from the presence of those we detested. 
They returned to the old place, and Hezekiah soon after 
built a house near by. Mrs. Stewart, at our urgent 
solicitation, consented once more to take up her abode 
with us. This arrangement was highly gratifying to us 
all ; for we loved Mrs. Stewart when children, and we 



DEATH OF MY MOTHER. 847 

felt that, as long as she remained with us, ire should net 
be destitute of a mother. She was as much gratified 
as were we, although she said that her stay with my unele 
had been the happiest part of her life, excepting when she 
lived with her husband and child. My undo and aunt, 
she said, were like a good brother and sister to her ; and 
as for Helen, the dear child had been more than a daugh- 
ter. And yet, she was §£ad to come back to us ; for 
it was returning to old friends and to old scenes. 
" This," said she, "is, after all, my home." 

It was well for us that she came ; for, if she had not 
been with us, I fear we should have made sad work of it. 
There would not have been so much union and peace. 
We were all quick-tempered and passionate, with the 
exception of Jane ; and all but inyself had lived years with 
those who would spoil the dispositions of angels. It was 
no marvel that they had so little government over them- % 
selves, after so fetal a training. To my surprise, Mrs. 
Stewart made me a right-hand man as a peacemaker. I 
knew that I was unfit for the office ; and that my place 
should be as a pupil, rather than a teacher. But under 
her instructions I succeeded admirably. I should have 
been ashamed to have allowed my passions to triumph 
over my reason, under such circumstances. I was. well 
aware that more ought to be expected of me than of my 
brothers and sisters ; for I had been free for some time 
from the contamination of discord and evil examples. But 



248 DEATH OF BIT MOTHER. 

I soon vacated the office ; and, in due season, the reader 
will learn the reason why. When everything had been 
satisfactorily arranged, I determined to visit my uncle's, 
for I was impatient to see Helen. I now recollected that 
I had not opened the package which mother had placed in 
my care. On a warm and beautiful day, I took it and 
wandered to an old favorite spot; and, seating myself in 
the shade of a buttonwood-tree, broke the seal and read 
it The reader will find the contents in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE HEART UNVEILED. 

Dear Henri : You may be surprised that I should 
ress you thus, after our long disaffection and sep- 
tion, with no reconciliation. But I feel now, not- 
bstanding the unnatural feuds which have existed 
ween us, that you are nevertheless dear to xne, and 
are all my children. It has not been always so ; 

I now see things in a different light ; the scales 

taken from my eyes, and I am so longer; Hind, 
le changes all things ; and it is sometimes vteli that 

thoughts, feelings and affections, undergo as great <** 
hange as those things of a more outward nature. 

sometimes think we see, when we are blind ; and 
r, when we are deaf. We sometimes hearken to 
sion and hatred, when we should listen to conscience 
. reason. Circumstances of a varied nature cafise 
bo assume a wrong position, to take a false step r or, 
ose the wrong path; and, when convinced of the 
>r, pride or self-will forbids us to retrace our steps ; 

so we rush on, shutting our eyes to the conse- 
nces which must follow. Injustice, disappointment, 



250 THE HEART UNVEHiED. 

" the severing of holiest ties and dearest attachments, 
" dethrone reason, bewilder judgment, overflow the heart 
" with grief, and make it bitter and hard. Could we 
"look into the hearts of men, women, and children, 
" we should be more charitable than we are. We should 
" then verify the old proverb, thjbt * truth is stranger 
"than fiction.' 

" In the printed pages of books, we read many won- 
" derful and mysterious things, things that startle and 
" astound ; but, could we read the human heart, we 
" should find things there that were never read in books, 
" and never can be. We read of oppression, of cruelty, 
"of crime and terrible wrongs, in books, and in the 
" columns of newspapers ; of scenes so horrible that tears 
" and blood seem to start from the words which tell the 
" awful tale. Could we read the pages which lie folded 
" within the human breast, — the thoughts, the cruelties, 
" the wrongs which they would reveal, — those in books 
" would be but as a spring zephyr, which plays among 
" flowers, to the mighty tempest that goes thundering o'er* 
" the main, tossing great ships, as the light wind tosses a 
" feather. And from the words there inscribed would, 
" in very truth, ooze blood and tears ! . And tjiose word* 
" would teach us many startling truths, wM<3i the wicked , 
and abandoned would little care if they were read of > 
all men ; but many who occupy high statiotsgfrpi churdjgl 



"and state would bleach with shame at 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 251 

" Those pages would solve many dark enigmas, — show 
" the causes that makes us what we are. Henri, I may 
" never see you again ; and, if I should, I could not tell 
"you all that I may write. I will place my thoughts 
" on paper, that when I am dead you may read and 
" know what they are. The narrative which I leave you, 
" read, and ponder well, and judge of me as ye would be 
"judged. 

" Since I wrote the above, I have sat some time, with 
" my head upon my hand, looking upon the past; and, 
"as my thoughts have wandered back, far back, tears 
" have started from my eyes, and trickled down through 
"my fingers. I have wandered back to the days of 
" childhood, when I was a joyous, light-hearted child, — 
" when there seemed so many beautiful things in this 
" weary, weary world. How glorious then seemed the 
" future to me ! — so very, very bright ; and the laughing 
" loves stood in flower-crowned pathways, and, with their 
" white, dimpled hands, tossed me fragrant kisses, and 
" beckoned me to follow, as though I had just tasted of 
" the sweets of life, and my good angels would lead me 
" to where life is perfect ; as though! had but drank of 
" the rippling stream, and the water-spirits would guard 
" me to the fountain. 0, how overwhelming is the 
" thought that I should so have changed ! Terrible was 
"it to find the world so full of bitterness, when I ex- 
"pected sweets; but more terrible still that I should 



252 THB HEART TOVBILBD. 

"have discovered bo much bitterness in my own heart! 
" My poor brain grows wild as I look upon my former self, 
" as she passes before the eye of the mind, and read her 
" heart. How imperfect I was then ! — but to what low 
" depths have I descended since ! 

" Comparatively speaking, my youthful days were 
" very happy, — the most blessed and beautiful of my life. 
" I was surrounded with every luxury that heart could 
" wish ; and my parents were usually kind, and so were 
" my brothers and sisters. I stood in awe of no one, but 
" my father. He was generally indulgent to me ; but 
"his will was stern and unbending, and mine of a 
" similar stamp, — though strong as iron in the presence 
"of others, was like wax in the fire, when it came in 
" contact with his. He had but little control over his 
"passions, and when any of the family opposed his 
" wishes he would overwhelm them with a torrent of vile 
" epithets and vituperation; and it did not matter at all, 
" with him, who were the witnesses of his ungentlemanly 
" and foolish conduct. So many times had he done this, 
"when our townsmen and friends and^ strangers were 
" present, that I would have done almost anything rather 
" than cross his wishes in the least ; for I would not 
" have them know that my father was so reckless, and 
" had so little consideration for the feelings of his children. 
" With all his other faults, my father lacked principle 



THH HEAET UNVEILED. 253 

11 sadly, and I inherited and learned of him more than 
" was for my good. 

" The most of the time, during my childhood, I was 
" gay and happy ; and should have been so always, if my 
" father had had more respect for himself and children, 
" and I had possessed more principle and less temper. 
" The latter was often my bane, and a lack of the former 
" frequently led me into difficulties. 

" I, was a good lover, and a good hater. I had a few 
" friends, whom I loved intensely ; but the majority of 
" those I frequently met with I regarded with indif- 
ference. But I knew the latter had the power to 
"injure me, and that they justly regarded me as proud; 
" and I know not but that I feared my father's out- 
" breaks of passion in their presence more than in the 
" presence of my friends. It made but little difference 
" whether the former or the latter were witnesses ; my 
" face would ever crimson with shame. There was 
"another class of persons whom I despised, — hated, 
" with as much intensity as I loved those who were near- 
" est and dearest. I was often a favorite ; for, though 
" self-willed and passionate, I was considered unusually 
" fascinating, and by many as very handsome. A lack 
" of principle, and an ungovernable temper, were my 
" greatest imperfections. But, with these even, I should 
" have been a very different being, if my whole nature 
" had not been so terribly embittered. 
22 



254 THE HBABT UNVEILBD. 

" From what I have said you will perceive that I TO 
" capable of forming a very strong attachment, — of lov- 
*" ing with the deepest intensity; and that I should be 
" very likely to form such an attachment, when I should 
" meet with the right one, without consulting the wishes 
"of others. 

" In one thing I differed very much from my father. 
IC He thought too highly of family, and wealthy connec- 
" tions. All who were rich were worthy of considera- 
"tion. The poor received but little notice from him, 
"however talented or meritorious. With these false 
"notions I had no sympathy; for I had the utmost 
"contempt for young men of wealthy families, whose 
" greatest merit consisted in knowing how to squander 
" money which their parents had earned, and in uttering 
" soft, meaningless compliments to ladies, as they were 
" called, who replied to their namby-pamby remarks in a 
"similar strain, rendered more ridiculous by the super- 
" fluous and outrageous abuse of adjectives. Some of 
" the finest words in our language are continually on 
" the rack ; and they are compelled to associate with 
"uncongenial company, and do and say very many silly 
" and contemptible things. You hear of the most gor- 
"geous wedding-cake, beautiful beef-steak, delightful 
"doughnuts, splendid pie, elegant puddings, — elegant 
" walking, elegant water, elegant flowers, elegant hair 
" or whiskers, elegant mouth, and elegant everything. 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 255 

" I could not but despise such, both male and female, 
"and their imitators ; while I respected many young men 
"who were talented, and their minds well stored with 
" knowledge. I cherished such feelings when I was not 
" more than fourteen. I felt a contempt for my father's 
" views in relation to these things, and prided myself in 
" differing from him. 

" At sixteen, I was sent sixty miles from home, to 
" school. I there formed an acquaintance with a young 
" man, which soon ripened into passionate mutual lore. 
" He was four years older than myself, and was endeavor- 
" ing to secure an education which would fit him for an 
" honorable position in society. A brief description of 
" him will suffice. About the middling height, straight 
"and slim. His head was large, forehead expansive, 
" eyes black, and glowing with intellectual beauty. When 
" they were fixed in melting admiration upon me, I was 
" entranced, bewildered, and I could have died feeling 
" that their light would lift my soul to heaven ! 

" He was an orphan and poor ; but what cared I ? So 
li passionate was my love, that I would have preferred a 
" rude cottage with him, rather than a palace without 
"him, or with one I could not love. We were often 
" together; and one autumn evening, when we had wan- 
" dered far away from our companions, he told me of 
il his love. With what rapture I listened to his passion- 
" ate words, so glowing and truthful ! I tried to speak, 



256 THB HEART UNVEILED. 

" but could not ; my bosom heaved with intense emotion, 
(( imd I fell upon his breast and burst into tears. Thus 
"fyou see how ungovernable were my feelings, whether 
" of love or hatred. My passions were hasty and impol- 
" sive, and sometimes entirely overpowering mej but not 
"always, for I could, at times, manifest the utmost indif- 
" ference, to the dearest object on earth. I had often 
" done it to Herbert But, although I could, and did, 
" manifest great coldness frequently, yet my attachments 
" were strong, and when I had once made up my mind 
" it was inflexible, especially at this period of my life. I 
" might seem to yield to my stern father, but only from 
"fear of an outbreak with him, with whom I could not 
" well contend, and that I might escape the mortification 
"which his ungovernable tongue would cause me, and the 
" more surely gain my object. 

"When Herbert and I were more calm, I told him 
"that his love was returned, but I feared there was one 
" almost insurmountable obstacle in the way of our happi- 
" ness. He anxiously inquired what it was. I informed 
"him that my father was proud and unyielding, and 
" that his children must marry only those whom he ap- 
" proved. Well knowing his character, thoughts, feelings, 
"wishes, I was very certain that he had determined 
" upon my marrying a man with at least a respectable 
" fortune. 

" Herbert (his name was Herbert Bending) was not 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 257 

{{ discouraged by this information, but proposed to write to 
"my father at once, asking his permission to pay l^s 
" addresses to his daughter, as we were already devotedly 
" attached to each other. This step I opposed, as it might 
" jeopardize our happiness. I told him that he need not 
" fear, for he alone should be my husband; and I cared 
" not for the wishes of my father, and should not consult 
" them. I loved him, and that was enough for me ; and I 
" would swear to wed only him. When I gave utterance 
" to these sentiments, I fancied I saw a shade of disap- 
"pointmerit upon his face. I thought he regretted to 
" learn that I had no filial fear for my father, and was 
"ready any moment to disobey him, should his wishes 
" come in contact with mine. He replied to my remarks 
" by saying that he could not conscientiously consent to 
"a clandestine engagement, until all other measures had 
" failed. I was somewhat vexed to hear him say this ; 
" for, as I was willing to sacrifice everything for his sake, 
" I thought he should not hesitate to sacrifice what I 
" regarded as the foolish qualms of conscience. l No,' 
" said he, 1 1 will act honorably, and so gain your father's 
" approval ; and then I will work like a hero to place 
" myself in a situation to be worthy of you.' I was. 
"proud to see him so self-confident, although I despaired 
" of the result. I knew my father too well. 

" The letter was written and sent. He wrote truth- 
" folly of his poverty, but also of his determined spirit 
22* 



$58 THE HBAOT OTVimax 

'and bright hopes. By his own unaided efforts he vo«M 
'hew out for himself a fortune and a name. He desiied 
'my fathers approbation and good wishes; and, baring 
' his daughter's love, it would be a great stimulant to 
' action, to perseverance ; and he would never ask my 
'hand in marriage until he had placed himself in a 
' position that my father might well be proud of in a 

* son-in-law. 

" It was now vacation time, and we were almost con- 
( stantly together. Sometimes we went with our school- 
' mates (those who had not returned home) on a fishing 
( or plumming excursion ; or we visited some high hill or 
' mountain, or passed pleasant afternoons under shady 

* trees by a beautiful sheet of water. Our growing inti- 
' macy was not unnoticed; but no one chided us, or inter- 
' fered in the least. Herbert was highly respected by 
' all, and hence we were left unmolested. 

" Those were blissful days, beautiful with sunlight, and 
'yet not without their shadows. I was ever fearful of 
( coming trouble, — of separation from the one I loved so 
1 dearly. I had what a phrenologist would term large 
'secretiveness; and yet I sometimes advanced sentiments 
' in the presence of Herbert which he seemed very much 
' to disapprove. Whenever he detected a lack of princi- 
' pie, he would look at me earnestly, as if half doubting 
c whether I had expressed my real views. If he came to 
' the conclusion that I had, he would look troubled and 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 250 

« disconcerted, and then suddenly brighten up, as though 
"he hoped, in time, to destroy the hateful weed, root 
" and branch. 0, haw much I loved him ! So well, 
" that every glance he gave me, every expression, every 
" change of countenance, are daguerreotyped on my poor 
" bleeding heart to-day, and they will go with me to my 
" grave. And shall I see him in a better world ? Alas ! 
" if I should, what will he think of me ? Can he look 
"down low enough to see me? Can I look up high 
" enough to see him ? In whatever light he may regard 
" me, whatever may be his thoughts, I wish to see his 
" beautiful face once more. I would pray for that, even 
" were he an angel and I a damned spirit. 

"About two weeks after Herbert had written, I was 
" surprised, one afternoon, to see my father drive up to 
" my boarding-house. He met me with a grave and 
" severe air; and, after we had entered my room, he 
" bade me get ready to start for home immediately. 

"'Why leave for home so suddenly?' I inquired; 
" * are any of the family sick ? ' 

" l Yes, sick of your conduct. A pretty miss you are, 

I 'truly! I sent you here for an education, that when 
" you were old enough you might not disgrace the gen- 
"tleman whom I have chosen for your husband; but 
" you are no sooner out of my sight than you are in love 

II with the first miserable puppy who fawns upon you, 
" and licks your hand ! Shame on you, Mary ! I hoped 



260 THE HEART UNVEILED. 

"better things of you. Never let it be said again that 
"you are like your father. If you do not know yorc 
" place better than this, I will keep you under lock and 
" key until you learn ; — do you hear 1 But get ready, 
" girl, for I am in haste ; you would have seen me 
" ere this, if I had been at home when the churl's letter 
" came.' 

"With a bitter and rebellious heart, I packed my 
" clothes and books for a speedy departure. When I 
" was ready I went into the drawing-room, to say good- 
" by to the family with whom I boarded, and my school- 
" mates who boarded with me. My father called for pen 
" and ink, and they were immediately placed upon the 
" table. It is said to be unmannerly to whisper in the 
"presence of company; my father would never doit; 
" but he would speak in a tone of voice that no one pres- 
" ent could understand, excepting the person or persons 
" to whom he addressed his remarks. I had learned to 
"converse in the same manner before leaving home. 
" After I had spent a few minutes in conversation with 
" the different members of the family, my father, who 
" was sitting on the opposite side of the room, watching 
"me closely, beckoned me to a seat by his side. He 
" held in his hand a sheet of paper, folded like a letter. 
"He showed me the back of it; it was addressed to 
" Herbert. 

"< What is that?' said! 



THE HEART OTVEILED. 261 

" ' A letter of dismissal/ he said ; ' and you must pat 
"your name to it.' 

" ' Must put my name to it? ' 

" ( Yes, must. It is time this love-foolery was ended.' 

" * Let me read it first' 

"< Do as I command you, and go to that table and 
" sign your name ; — do you hear ? ' And he gave me a 
" look so dark and threatening, that I trembled lest he 
" should give vent to his pent-yp wrath in the presence 
" of my friends, who were all strangers to him. 

" * Do let me read it,' I said, faintly. 

" ' I swear you shall not ! I know what's proper to 
"be written; and I am in haste, and will not dally 
" longer.' 

" ( I beg of you to let me know what it contains ! ' 
u His face was now growing black with suppressed rage, 
" and his eyes seemed to burn like hot coals. He knew 
" his power, and my weakness, but too well ; and, with 
" the fore-finger of his right hand pointing to me in a 
41 most threatening manner, he said, ' WiU you sign 
"it?' 

" I now well knew that all the bitterness of his heart 
" would be poured upon me in one moment more, if I 
" longer refused to obey. I took my eyes from his, and 
"looked to see if those who were in the room were 
" noticing us ; they were all gazing, upon us, with sur- 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 

"prise and curiosity depicted upon their countenances. 
"I did not hesitate longer, but went to the table and 
" wrote my name, and handed the letter back to my 
" father. If I had been alone with him, I would not 
" have done it ; but, as it was, I had not the courage to 
" do otherwise ; would to God that I had ! We started 
" for home soon after, and I had not seen Herbert, nor 
" exchanged a word with one of my intimate friends. 
" On our journey home my father reproached me in the 
" most cruel and heartless manner, and told me that I 
" had sent a letter to my lover that would settle the 
"matter, and there would be no further trouble. When 
"he said this I looked him in the face, and saw the 
" evidence of such diabolical cunning, that I grew sick 
" and faint, and should have swooned if I had not made 
"strong efforts to save myself. After a few minutes' 
" reflection, I consoled myself with the thought that I 
" should write so soon that my imprudence would not 
" result in any permanent injury. 

" We arrived home the next day, and I immediately 
" penned a brief note to Herbert. He never received it ; 
" and, I doubt not, it was intercepted by my father. 
" I never asked him, but I am well aware that he was 
"wicked enough to do it. God forgive him the fatal 
" wrong, and may all who hear my sad story take warn- 
"ing! Let parents beware how they trifle with the 
" holiest affections of the human heart. I did not feel to 



THE HBAET UNVBILBD: 263 

'forgive my fether while lie lived, nor for many years 
"after he died; but now my feelings are changed, and I 
" freely pardon him, as I hope for mercy from God, and 
"forgiveness, ere I die, from all those whom I have 
" injured. 

" I requested Herbert to write as soon as he received 
"my note; but day after daj passed away, and I was 
" kept in suspense, and terrible suffering. 

" I had been at home some two weeks, when a letter 
" was brought to me by my sister Ellen ; — its seal was 
"black. I went to my room, and, with feelings which 
"can be better conceived of than told, I examined the 
" superscription, to learn from whom it came. ' A glance 
" satisfied me that it was from my dearest friend and 
" companion at school, Amanda Wingate. With my 
" breath suppressed, the pulsations of my heart stilled, 
" with fearful dread and terrible forebodings, I broke 
" the seal, and read but one dreadful sentence, in which 
" all the letters seemed darts of fire, leaping to fasten 
" themselves in my heart. l Herbert is dead ! ' I could 
"read no more; my brain reeled, my head swam, my 
" eyes grew dim, and I shrieked in terrible agony, and 
" fell heavily to the floor. 

" When I came out of my fainting-fit, my mother and 
" sisters were standing over me, with anxiety and alarm 
" depicted upon their countenances. I was carried to 
" my bed, when I soon recovered perfect consciousness* 



264 THS HEABT UNYBILKD. 

" ' What a horrid calamity,' I thought, 'had befallen 
l( me.' But the reality proved a thousand times greater 
" than I could have imagined it I loved Herbert so 
" well, that under his gentle and loving influence I 
" should have learned the value of principle, and for lis 
" sake loved truth, and by and by have loved it for its 
" own sake, and so have escaped the awful doom which, 
" since I lost him, has been mine. Words are utterly 
" inadequate to describe the cruel anguish that wrung my 
" heart, as I lay upon my bed, bathing my pillow with 
" tears. What was the world to me now? What were 
" friends, home, pleasures, life ? How earnestly I prayed 
" for death to come and deliver me from my woes ! 

" As soon as I could gain courage I read the re- 
" mainder of the letter, which only served to add poig- 
" nancy to my already intense sufferings ; you will not 
" be surprised that it should have had that effect. 

" Dkab, Mary : Herbert is dead and buried ; he died night before 
" last, and was buried to-day, at three o'clock. 0, Mary ! how 
"could you write that terrible letter? Were you mad? I cannot 
" realize it, it is so like a dark and troubled dream. I thought you 
" passionately loved him ; but when I read that fatal letter, I was 
" bewildered. When Herbert read it, he could scarcely believe his 
" own eyes ; but there it was before him, and why should he doubt ? 
" Would to God he had doubted ! That night, he told me, before he 
" died, was one of fearful agony, in which passion, anger, grief, 
" hatred, revenge, despair, jealousy,' made him their sport, as devils 
" may be supposed to sport with the spirits of the damned ! In the 
" morning, so terribly had he changed, that a physician was sent for, 



TOB HEART UtfVBILBD. 265 

u and when he came he said the attack had been bo sudden, and the 
"progress of the disease so rapid, there was bnt little hope of his 
11 recovery. * * * * 

" In his delirium he called wildly for you, and then reproached 
" you for your cruelty. I conversed with him in his lucid moments, 
" but he would talk only of you. He commissioned me to give you 
"his full and free pardon for the injury you had done him. O, 
" Mary ! how wildly he loved you, and what a heart you have 
" lost ! * * * * 

" Did I weep when I read this? No, for I could not 
" weep. Had tears fallen, they should have been tears 
" of fire, like those which burnt into my breast, or tears 
" of blood, such as were falling from my heart ! 

"You have suffered, and suffered bitterly, Henri, I 
"well know; but you have never known the anguish I 
" experienced then, and you never can know it. "With 
" few exceptions, man never loves with such fearful in- 
" tensity as woman ; Herbert was an exception, and that 
" was one reason why I loved him so well. 

" I wrote to Amanda, to send me the letter ; she 
" complied without delay. You may judge of my sur- 
iC prise when I found that the writing seemed like my 
" own ; so much so, that those best acquainted with my 
" hand would have been deceived. I read the super- 
• c scription when my father held the letter in his hand; 
" but I was so much agitated that I did not notice the 
" character of the writing. I knew at a glance that my 
" sister Ellen had written it ; we had, for a number of 
23 



266 THB HEART TTNVEILBD. 

" years, been taught by the same master ; and, obserr- 
" ing how much our hands were alike, we wrote after 
" the same copies, until no one but ourselves could detect 
" the difference. We frequently wrote articles to puzzle 
" our friends, and had many a hearty laugh at the mis- 
" takes they made, when they decided, after a close 
" scrutiny, which of us was the writer. Alas ! I did 
"not dream, then, that this innocent deception, which 
" served so well for a pleasant pastime, should rob me 
" of what I held most dear, and be the bane of my life ! 
" When at school, Ellen and I often wrote in each other's 
"books, and our teacher did not detect us. She had 
"written the letter to Herbert, and I had signed my 
"name to it. When I subsequently questioned her 
" about it, she said that my father brought it to her, 
" and bade her copy it, which she had done, not 
" knowing who Herbert Bending was, nor what was 
" the object of the letter ; she thought it a very strange 
" affair, but she asked no questions, and did as father 
" bade her. But you will wish to see the letter ; I want 
"you to see it Read it, Henri, read it; and then 
" marvel, if you can, that it drove me mad ! 

" Sir : As I am about to return home with my father, it is time 
" that the farce should end. You have professed to love me, and no 
" doubt you do ; but you must have been a weak thing to suppose 
" that I loved you. Don't call me hard-hearted, now ; for when a 
" young man, who is little better than a beggar, presumes to love a 
" gentleman's daughter, it is right that she should teach the puppy 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 267 

" his place. You remember the proverb, * Bought wit is very good, 
" if you do not buy it too dear.' You have paid for what you have 
(< bought, in loye ; bah ! so the debt is fully cancelled, and you may 
" consider yourself free, 

" Do you marvel that I could have manifested so much love, and 
"possessed none, but, instead thereof, contempt? You are older 
" than I, but, sir, you have less experience. I have seen men, and 
" women too, make love in the drama, and the objects to whom they 
"offered their adoration they despised. And yet, how well they 
«• loved, — how ardently, passionately I The wise see through it all ; 
" the fools weep ! My dear sir, to which party do you belong ? I 
" hope not to the latter ! 0, did I not play well the part of the silly, 
" love-sick maid ? And you, sir, acted admirably ! From my heart 
" I wish you had been wiser ; but you are wiser than you were, er 
«« you will be when you get this. 0, the blissful moments ! Will 
" they never return again ? Alas ! my charming Herbert, I fear 
*« they never will. I know you will feel badly, but it cannot be 
" helped. My husband is already chosen ; and, knowing my true 
" position in the world, I have not chosen a low churl ! 

*' Good-by, sir, and remember to profit by the lesson I have taught 
** you ! Mary J. Flahders. 

" This was the parting adieu to tl\e one I loved better 
"than life. How I cursed myself for my fatal impru- 
" dence ! — but I did not dream, then, that jjgr father could 
" do so foul a thing. The terrible thought now came 
"heavy and crushing upon me, that I was Herbert's 
" murderer ! 0, horror ! I was the assassin of him 
"whom I loved with a devotion that words cannot ex- 
" press. The thought palsied my brain, drove the blood 
" back upon my heart, and made me mad ! My mouth 



268 THE HBAET UNVEILED. 

" was parched with burning heat, my eyes seemed fire, 
"and a tongue of flame was lapping the blood of the 
" murdered affections ! 

"'Why was I ever born?' I cried; 1 0, cursed, 
" thrice cursed be the hour ! Happiness, peace, joy, 
11 light, farewell ! Go, spirits of beauty, that have mm- 
" istered to me so long ! — go, I need you not now ! Grief, 
"sorrow, remorse, agony, ye shall be my guardian 
"angels! Darkness, your great wings, which are as 
" wide as the universe, they shall shelter me ! Love ! 
" get ye hence, and never approach me again ! Hatred, 
" bitterness, revenge, come to me, and ye shall be my 
"servants, — my loving, faithful, obedient servants! 
" Father, I hate ye ! I hate ye as damned sprits hate 
"devils! ^Opr could see you suffer Agony a thousand- 
fold greater and *more horrid than mine, and laugh, — 
J /*ay, laugh with joy, wild and unutterable joy ! Sister, 
, "as ye Jfcave joined in this plot against me, which has 
" madejfcfaipwreck of ajl my hopes, leaving life a dark 
" and .Jpibled sea, vithout one gleam of light, without 
' " one star to^$ne upon me, I detest you ! Mother ! 
" that name once dear ! — if ye were in the plot, I 
" lepeLyoU from my presence, as I would a poisonous 
" reptilarf ' 

" Thus I raved in my agony, until my voice grew so 
" loud and wild that my mother and sisters rushed to 
".my room with affright Their presence called me to 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 



'myself; my looks were such that they regarded me 
' with astonishment. When they asked what ailed me, 
' I pointed them to the letter ; it was a relief to learn 
( that they were not guilty. 

" I have said that this letter drove me mad, and it was 
1 true ; not that I became a maniac, but I was fearfully 
1 changed. There was ever a strange feeling in my head 
' and heart, and I was often tempted to put an end to 
1 my miserable existence. I was closely watched, lest I 
' should do so. My father's presence was agony to me ; 
1 but where could I go to escape it? I could neither 
' read, write nor study, nor find consolation in society. 
' Some of the time I was excessively stupid, and again 
c my brain was intensely active. I then realized, for the 
' first time, although I did not profit^y it, how much 
' evil a lack of principle may causcfBSil how much it 
' had wrought out for me. If I had been as faithful to 
' truth and right as Herbert ever was, he never would 
' have believed, for an instant, that that most fiendish 
' letter came from my brain or heart I had witnessed 
' so much of his devotedness to princij^e, that, had I 
' received a thousand letters under similar circum- 
' stances, I could not have believed that they were reqlty 
1 from him. Alas ! he had witnessed so much deception 
' in me, that it was not strange he believed me capable 
1 of such atrocious conduct. 

" He once caught me in a falsehood; and many times 
23* 



270 TBM HIABT UHVKILHIJ. 

"have I thought how painful was the expression tkt 
" lingered upon his manly face. I doubt not but that 
" his declaration of love was delayed, through fear that 
" his happiness would not be safe in my hands. I iron- 
ic der not that he should have had such thoughts. And 
" there were times — though it gives me pain, even now, 
" to think of them — when I took delight in tormenting 
"him; and I indulged in them the more, because 1 
" knew that he was devotedly attached to me. At par- 
"ties I slighted him, and received marked attentions 
" from others, when I knew that it caused deep agony in 
" his heart But, even then, I loved him better than life. 
" After his declaration of love I was more careful ; but 
" I inflicted slight wounds after that, for no other pur- 
" pose than to gratify my evil propensities, and to make 
" him feel my powfc. I knew that he madly loved me ; 
" therefore I was not so fearful of losing him as I should 
" otherwise have been. I doubt not he thought of all 
" these things when he read that fatal note. My own 
" wickedness had caused him to believe a lie, and 
" destroyed hi^ life and my happiness. 

" Never was the nature of a human being more in- 
( ' tensely emfittered than was mine by this fatal blow. God 
M knows that I should have been bad enough, at best, but 
" not so wicked as I have been. Under the influence of 
" Herbert, which was every day increasing in strength, my 
" impassioned being would have had its energies directed 



THE HEAET UNVEILED. 271 

" in a different channel, and I should have been a bless- 
" ing to myself and to others. But, through the atrocious 
" baseness of my father, and my own lack of truth, Her- 
" bert's life was destroyed, and I was left in form a 
" woman, but in heart a devil ! Every day was spent 
" in misery, and in sharpening all my senses, that I might 
" have greater hatred in my heart than I ever could have 
"had of love. 

" At last, I was introduced to your father, and told 
" that he was the man selected for my husband. Under 
" other circumstances, it is possible that I might have loved 
" him, though I do not think that we were ever adapted 
" to each other; but, at least, I could have treated him as 
" a woman should an honorable man who sues for her 
" hand ; but now my first impulse was to reject him, with 
" scorn. The second thought, that he was the cause of 
" all my misery, and I would marry him to make him 
" unhappy. I gave him my hand, while hatred was in 
" my heart. The result was what I prayed for; he was 
" wretched, and my father was ashamed of me. When 
" children were born, I should have loved not only them, 
" but their father; but I fancied he had wrought me a 
" great wrong, and I could not forgive or love. You, 
" Henri, resembled him most, and the consequence was 
"I loved you least. If I had studied your father's 
11 heart, I should have dearly loved all the children, and 
" treated him well : but I did not know it then. I know 



272 THB HBABT UNVEILED. 

" that I was sot in my right mind, or I should not lave 
" been so blind. I supposed he had bargained for me, 
" as one would bargain for a horse ; and the thought made 
" me detest him. 

" After he died, I became alarmed, at a protracted 
" meeting, as it was called, for my soul's salvation. I 
" supposed your father was lost, and I had no desire to 
".follow him. Your, father believed differently from most 
" men, and this I thought enough to prove his eternal 
" ruin. He thought that all souls would finally be puri- 
" fied. That they would suffer here for sin, and suffer 
" hereafter, but ultimately be redeemed. 

" Deacon "Webber, hearing that I was anxious for my 
" eternal welfare, called upon me often; and, instead of 
" sitting at Jesus' feet, and learning of him, I learned of 
" Deacon Webber, — and you know what a holy woman it 
" made me. After his wife died, he offered his hand in 
" marriage, saying that it might prove the salvation of 
" the whole family, who were living without hope and with- 
" out God in the world. I did not believe that my chil- 
dren would be benefited; but Deacon Webber was 
" highly honored in the church, and I was about to join 
"it, and, should I become his wife, I should receive 
" marked attention. In spite of the remonstrances of my 
" children, and to my shame and sorrow, I married him. 
" I have found him to be a cruel, vile, lascivious, sordid 
" hypocrite ! I now shudder when I am called Mrs. Web- 



THE HBAET UNVEILED. 273 

ri ber; bat I will not complain, for it is meet that I 
'•'should suffer for the wrong which your father received 
c 'at my hands. 

" A year ago, I was looking over some things that 
" were your father's, and I found his diary. I did not 
""know that he kept one. Curiosity prompted me to 
" read it. I had not gone through many pages before I 
" blistered them with my tears. I learned that the man 
" I had so fearfully injured was a good man, and in 
" marrying me had acted from the purest motives. He 
" loved me when he first saw me, and my father had told 
" him that his love was returned. He waited until I was 
"eighteen, and offered himself in marriage, and was 
" accepted, not doubting but that he had my love. In 
" one of the library drawers you will find the journal. 
" Bead it, and you will learn how wretched was his 
"married life. My heart bleeds when I think of 
" it. Many of the pages are stained with the tears 
" which dropped upon them while he penned his bur- 
" dened thoughts. 

" The perusal of those pages caused me renewed suf- 
fering, but they did me good. They softened and 
" purified my hard and blackened heart. They dissi- 
" pated the mists of error, and of madness ! Things 
'•'appeared, 0, so different! But, before I found the 
"journal of your father I had been made to see the 
" fearful enormities of my life, and I felt deeply sorrow- 



274 XHB HXABX UK VEILED. 

" fid for my many sins. A nek bed had not been in 
" vain, neither had the cruel treatment of Deacon Web- 
"ber. I often contrasted his life with that of your 
"father; and thought how kind the latter would have 
"been to me, if I had manifested as much regard for him 
" as I had for the former. The thought of the abuse I 
" had heaped upon him, the injustice with which I had 
" treated you, and that poor little girl, Helen Means, 
" made me very unhappy ; but I felt that it was good for 
" me that I should suffer thus, and I prayed my God 
" that he would sanctify these sufferings to my good, and 
" that, through them and his mercy, I might be regen- 
11 erated. 

" Of all the children, I wronged you the most The 
" reason of this was, because you were so hot-tempered; 
"and because your father always took your part, and 
" manifested, I thought, more affection for you than for 
" the other children ; and because you s6 much resembled 
" him. With my changed views and feelings, I know that 
"I love you dearly. I fear that you despise your 
l i mother ; but still, I want to see you, more than words 
" can tell. I have often thought of writing, but have not 
" the courage. I dare not hope that you will ever love 
" me ; but, when you read this, your hatred will not 
" be increased, and you will pity me. My sands are 
" almosl run, and I hope soon to be in a better world. 



THE HEART UNVEILED. 275 

" When I am gone, love your brothers and. sisters, — be 
"united and happy. Now, my dear boy, receive the 
" parting blessing of your dying mother. In heaven I 
" will meet you, where we shall no more hate, but always 
"love. Mary Jane Eaton." 



CHAPTER XXII. 

HOPES NOT REALIZED. 

I bead this narrative of wrong and suffering with an 
interest the most profound. Some parts of it caused tears 
to start from my eyes, and course rapidly down my cheeks. 
I was not sorry that she had left me this painful history, 
for it empowered me, after serious thought, to perceive 
her character in its true light. As I could see all the 
influences which had combined so powerfully to make her 
what she was, I had more charity for her, and I felt 
there was more to love or compassionate, and less to 
censure. Our friends and relatives, when they had 
heard these confessions, and candidly weighed them in the 
balance of reason and justice, confessed they could not 
have come to correct. conclusions without them. Their 
opinions were changed and softened, and pity for* her 
unhappy lot was mingled with feelings of disapproval of 
her conduct. 

I am aware that the hasty reader may come to a very 
different conclusion, and not think sa well of her as he 
did before reading her confessions; but this would be 
unjust. 



HOPES NOT REALIZED. 277 

I will briefly place the whole subject, in all its essen- 
tial bearings, clearly and plainly before the reader. My 
mother inherited from her parents a morally defective 
organization, and her education made the matter worse. 
She was naturally wilful and cunning, and could keep 
her thoughts and intentions to herself; and was inclined 
to work in secret, when she could best accomplish her 
object. She was very passionate, and often allowed her 
temper to triumph over her better judgment. She lacked 
principle, and her father's example increased the evil. 
She had an exalted opinion of herself, and esteemed too 
lightly the opinions of others. Now, as she was not 
lacking in benevolence, and had large intellectual powers, 
a keen imagination, an intense love of the beautiful and 
sublime, had she been educated under more favorable 
influences, she would have been a very different being, — 
she would have been guided, usually, by the superior 
faculties of her mind, and so her character would have 
been almost the opposite from what it was. 

Her early training was not conducive to the develop- 
ment of her better nature ; and the outrageous deception, 
and the fearful blasting of her cherished hopes, embit- 
tered her whole being, called the lower faculties into 
active exercise, and deadened her nobler impulses. She 
was left in a state which may be justly considered moral 
insanity. This view of the subject, though defective, I 
believe to be substantially correct. Sinful propensities 
24 



278 HOPES NOT REALIZED. 

were inherited, transferred from parent to child, and 
unpropitious circumstances combined to strengthen and 
give them the control ; and, though the result is to be 
deprecated, it could not well have been otherwise. It was 
these, and similar considerations, which caused us all to 
change our opinions which we had long held in relation 
to my mother, and view her character from a different 
stand-point 

I found, in this matter, food for reflection, which I 
required, and which did me good. I thought my own 
course would have been very different, if I had known 
my mother better, — known of her sufferings, disappoint- 
ments and wrongs. Gould I have seen her heart un- 
veiled, and had a clear understanding of the causes which 
made it what it was, I should have had more charity. 

I fear that we often heap reproaches upon people, and 
treat them with insult and contempt, when, could we know 
all, we should commiserate their unfortunate lot, and 
strive to make them happier, rather than render them 
more wretched. Instead of looking, with truth-seeking 
eyes, to learn the causes of wrong-doing, we jump at con- 
clusions, and judge the offender worthy of naught but 
stripes and death, forgetting that, had the same circum- 
. stances surrounded us, we should have been as bad, and 
perhaps worse. We show but little mercy to the crimi- 
nal, though he may be the victim of circumstances beyond 
his control. If society, by laws, manners and customs, 



HOPES NOT REALIZED. 279 

educates men for crime, we punish them none the less 
severely. We feel that justice should be done, " though 
the heavens fall ; " and yet are guilty of the worst species 
of injustice ourselves. It is so with society in general ; 
it is so with individuals. 

My mother's confessions I read to all our friends and 
relatives, that they might view her character through the 
clear medium of unvarnished truth. I was happy to find 
that it changed and softened the opinions and feelings of all. 

It was now the first month in summer, — the month of 
roses, bright days, sweet zephyrs and clear skies. I 
have always loved June, very, very much. When is the 
earth so beautiful, the air so fragrant, and the sunbeams 
so golden and delightful ? What gorgeous robes the trees 
put on, — robes of greenest leaves and brightly-tinted 
flowers, 

" TiU the whole forest stands displayed 
In fall luxuriance to the sighing gales, 



- the country far diffused around 



One boundless blush, one white empurpled shower 
Of mingled blossoms, where the raptured eye 
Hurries from joy to joy, .'* * 

Such is June in New England, and hence it is the 
most beautiful month in all the year. In this description 
the latter part of May should be included. 

* Thomson. 



280 HOPES NOT REALIZED. 

More than twelve months had passed since I had parted 
from Helen Means, leaving her in tears. Since my return, 
a thousand things had prevented my visiting her. The 
longer I delayed, the more impatient I grew ; for I TO 
anxious to hear from her own sweet lips that she loved 
me. 

Everything being now arranged, so that I could spend 
as much time at my uncle's as I might desire, I set off, 
with high hopes of speedily winning and wearing the 
brightest gem which earth or heaven contained for me. 
A few hours' ride brought me to the long-wished-for goal. 
My feelings now became warm and excited, and I rushed 
impetuously into the house, supposing, of coutse, that 
Helen would fly to my arms, and hold me in a passion- 
ate embrace. I knew she would, if she felt as I did. 

Hearing the piano, I bent my steps to the parlor, and 
there, as I expected and desired, was Helen, alone. She 
was playing a beautiful tune, and so absorbed in the 
music that she did not observe me when I entered the 
room. I stood for a moment, and gazed upon her in 
mingled admiration and surprise. One year had changed 
her very much. She was now a beautiful woman, with 
her pure, elevated soul looking out of her eyes, beaming 
from her countenance. 

I thought I would approach her unobserved. She heard 
my step, looked around and saw me ; but, instead of rush- 
ing into my arms, she arose from her seat very deliber- 



HOPES NOT REALIZED. 281 

ately, extending me her hand, bidding me welcome home 
again. She seemed perfectly calm, except that she 
became paler, her lip quivered a little, and her hand 
slightly trembled. She was paler, I noticed, as she sat 
at the piano, than when I had last seen her, and about 
her eyes was the sad look of her childhood. It lay there, 
as the shadow of death lies upon the face of a lovely cherub 
child, not marring but softening the tints of its light and 
beauty. 

" Welcome home again, Henri ! " she said ; "I am 
very happy to see you. Your health is good, I hope." 

I was not prepared for this stoical coolness, and, for 
the first time in my life, I felt at a loss what to do or say. 

" My health is — very good. You look pale. Are 
you not well ? " 

" I am not so healthy as I was a year ago ; but hope 
to be, a year hence." 

" Yes — so do I, — I mean — that I hope you will 
be well soon." 

" We have beautiful weather now; it was delightful 
when you left us, a year ago. But June is more beauti- 
ful than May." 

" The weather is more beautiful, I think ; but I fear — 
that — you — we have changed too." 

" Most likely. But do you mean that we have changed 
for the better ? Was it May then with our hearts, and 
is it June now ? " 

24* 



282 HOPES NOT REALIZED. 

" I fear not, unless June is much colder than May. I 
do not like the change ; for there is more of shadow, and 
less of sunlight." 

" We can judge more correctly when we learn what 
effect new scenes have had upon you. New York, I am 
told, is a bad place for a young man." 

"Helen!" 

" Nay, do not be alarmed. I think you have too 
much principle to do anything very vicious ; but we are 
all liable to err when we are surrounded by temptations." 

" Helen, how you have changed ! " 

" So have you." 

" But not as you have." 

"I suppose not. A year changes us all; but the 
change in each one is not general, but individual." 

" I did not mean that." 

" Then you must explain, or I cannot get at your 
meaning." 

" I will do so. Your friendly regards and feelings for 
me have changed." 

"0, no ! they never were stronger than they are at 
this moment. And when I thought that marriage would 
end those sweet relations which had existed between us 
for so many years, I prayed as ardently for your happi- 
ness as I ever had done." 

" But marriage can never end them." 

" Circumstances have already changed them, as you 



HOPBS NOT REALIZED. 288 

well know; and at some future time marriage may 
annihilate them." 

"No, no, Helen! I will never marry, unless I 
marry " 

" Tour uncle and aunt are in the library. Come, let 
me introduce you to them ; they will be rejoiced to see 
you." 

" Not now, Helen ; I would talk with you longer. I 
Was about to say " 

" You will stay with us many weeks, I hope, and 
there will be plenty of time for pleasant chat, — come." 
And she led the way to the library, and I could do no 
less than follow her. 

This was a reception I had not dreamed of, and it was 
some days before I could summon sufficient courage to 
approach again the delicate subject. After repeatedly 
urgent requests, she consented to take a walk with me to 
visit our old familiar haunts. It was a beautiful sum- 
mer evening, and the* sun was just sinking to his rest. 
Not a cloud was in the sky, and everything was hushed 
into stillness. She provokingly refused to take my arm, 
preferring, as she said, to walk alone, being so much 
accustomed to it. We wandered from spot to spot, where 
we had often been before ; and, as we conversed of those 
dear old times, reserve and coldness seemed to leave us, 
and we were to each other what we had been. She was 
again my own Helen; and when I took her arm and 



284 HOPES NOT REALIZED. 

placed it within mine, she made no resistance, fori 
seemed pleased to have it there. 

We walked on, until we came to the dearest spot of 
all. It was at the foot of a green hill, where a limpid 
stream of water flowed down its sides, and made beautiful 
all the valley below. Here was a very large rock, some 
fifty feet high. It was solid granite. At its base, front- 
ing the valley, was a niche, so designed as to make a 
convenient seat for two. It had the appearance of having 
been formed by the hand of man. In front of this seat 
were a number of. maple-trees, a few rods apart, in the 
form of a half-circle. The brook leaped down at one 
side of the rock, wound around it near its base, also in 
the form of a circle ; it then turned again, passed by the 
trees, and formed another circle beyond them. Between 
the rock and brook, brook and trees, and brook again, 
was an undulating surface, covered with green grass and 
beautiful flowers. Here the winds made music in the 
trees ; here the stream made music as it leaped from 
the hill and rock ; here the flowers smiled, and loaded 
the frolicsome breezes with fragrance. 

I seated Helen, and tof^c my place by Jier side. My 
arm was around her as of yore, and one of her hands 
was clasped in mine. We talked long of the good old 
times, when we were seldom apart, and life seemed like 
a rosy dream. We spoke of the time that we were 
separated, — of the events which then transpired. I made 



HOPES NOT REALIZED. 285 

bold to speak of Irene Dinneford; and, at Helen's re- 
quest, described her person, manners, accomplishments, 
mind and heart. I gave her a brief account of our first 
acquaintance, our succeeding interviews, my rescuing 
her in the moment of peril, our engagement and its 
close. Helen listened attentively, and remarked, when I 
had done, 

" She must be a beautiful girl, Henri ; and I wonder 
how you could so readily have given her up ! " 

" She did not truly love me, Helen," I replied; "and 
I did not love her with that devotion which is requisite 
for one constituted as I am." 

" I am surprised that you did not love her ! And she 
is to be married soon, you Say ? " 

" Yes, and to one who is worthy of her. They are 
two noble spirits, and love each other with undying 
affection." 

" Their life will be happy, then. You ought to be 
thankful that you found out, before too late, what her 
true feelings were." 

" I am thankful, Helen; but, if I had not, I do not 
think I could have married her?' 

" Under the circumstances, I cannot see how it could 
have been prevented. You were Solemnly engaged to 
her, and also engaged in partnership with her father; 
and the wedding-day was fixed, and close at hand. When 



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believe that any other being has all has 1 

" Bat you do not think that I had given it all to 
Irene 7" 

" 0, no* She had a part, and somebody else a part ; 
and perhaps there was a third or fourth, to share in the 
coveted treasure ! " 

" You are joking, now." 

11 Not by any means ; for I believe every word I have 
said." 

" Do you not think it possible for a man to love a 
woman — some cherished one — very dearly, and not 
realize it ? And could he not pledge himself to another, 
whom he greatly admired ; and, after that, for the first 
time become aware of the fact that the former had his 
d not the latter?" 




HOPES NOT REALIZED. 287 

" I can. imagine such a case, but I cannot appreciate 
that kind of love. 

" And would not be thankful for its manifestation ? " 

" Certainly not, for I should wish for something 
better." 

" If one who loved you should do as I have, how could 
he satisfy you of whole-souled, devoted love ? " 

" That is a difficult question to answer." 

" I should not suppose it very difficult." 

" Different persons would view the matter in a different 
light; — but shall we not return? — the evening grows 
damp." 

"It is not very damp, and it is so warm the felling 
dew will not prove injurious. Don't let us go yet, for 
I have not said half that I wish to." 

" We can talk on our way home." 

" But it is very pleasant sitting here." 

" Yes, and it is very pleasant rambling about, when 
the moon shines so beautifully." 

" I would rather sit still and talk, when the subject so 
comes home to the heart." 

" And I would not, on such a night as this." 

" You think, then, that one could not gain your love, 
if he had offered himself to another ? " 

" Perhaps so, and perhaps not," she said, rising from 
her seat " I am for having a dance with the brook. 



288 HOPBS NOT REALIZED. 

How softly it sings and talks ! Maybe it is making loi 
to the flowers." 

" I wish it would teach me to make love." 

" Perhaps it will, if yoa ask it to." 

"What shall I say to it?" 

" Say what you please ; I cannot be your teacher." 

" Will yoa interpret its answers ? " -* 

" 0, no! — why should I?" 

" Because yoa axe better acquainted with its language 
than I am." 

"How did you learn that fact, admitting it to be 
one?" 

"I took the privilege of a Yankee, and guessed. 
Besides, I knew that from a child you loved all things 
which were beautiful, and understood their language." 

" I am well learned, then. But I am quite anxious to 
hear you talk to the little sparkling drops that go leap- 
ing and dancing over the rocks. Sometimes I think 
they clap their hands for joy." 

" Your imagination is active, to-night. But I will try 
and gratify you. ' Most beautiful water-spirits, ye who 
coquet all day with the sunbeams, who leap down the hill- 
sides, and move gently through the valleys, — who sing so 
sweetly your evening songs, making love to the flowers, 
forming yourselves into a mirror for the moon and stars, 
— teach me, ye bright angels, how to gain the heart of 
the one I love — ' " 



HOPES NOT REALIZED. 289 

I was here interrupted by a loud laugh from Helen. 

" That was capital," she said, " and so poetical ! The 
water-spirits ought to feel flattered. But they will not 
tell you ; for they would be afraid that, by the time you 
had gained it, you would be in love with somebody else." 

" You are a cruel girl ! " 

" 0, no, Henri ; not a bit cruel. But hark ! the bell 
is, ringing nine ; it is time to go home." 

" I would rather stay longer, but will do as you say.' 9 

On our way home we talked upon various subjects, 

but I could not gain courage sufficient to offer her my 

hand and heart. 

25 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

TWICE REJECTED. 

When we had arrived at the house, Helen went to 
her room, and I to the parlor; where I found uncle, 
aunt, and a young man whom they introduced as Mr. 
Gray. A few commonplace remarks were made, and 
we were relapsing into silence, when Helen came in. 
She appeared very glad to see Mr. Gray, and took a 
seat by his side; and they were soon absorbed in a con- 
versation — carried on in an undertone — that nobody 
could understand but themselves. I sat and looked on 
with feelings more easily imagined than described. I 
was really jealous, and wished Mr. Gray anywhere but 
there. It was bad enough to find Helen's feelings so 
different from what I had expected ; but to meet with a 
rival so soon, and be obliged to endure his presence, 
while he appropriated Helen entirely to himself, was too 
much. I was as unhappy as I could reasonably be. 

They conversed for some thirty minutes together, and 
then we entered into a general conversation. I was 
anxious to find him a fool, for I thought she could not 
love a man without good Bense. His remarks convinced 



It? 
Is* 



TWICE REJECTED. 291 

*&e that he was not a fool, and neither was he very 
intelligent. I was certain that he was far beneath 
Helen, and this gave me a vast deal of satisfaction. At 
his request, Helen played and sang ; and he took the 
liberty to stand near her, select the music and turn over 
the leaves, with which she seemed well pleased. When 
jhe relinquished her seat, my uncle desired Mr. Gray to 
xjcupy it ; and he complied with the request, and played 
rery beautifully. " At least," thought I, " there is one 
;hing about him which will be attractive to Helen, — his 
oye of music.' ' 

I remained until after ten o'clock ; and, as Mr. Gray 
lid not manifest any intentions of going, and fearing that 
ny room was preferable to my company, I bade them good- 
light, and went to my chamber. It was between eleven 
ind twelve when he took his departure. I was then too 
jealous and miserable to expect to sleep, if I sought my 
ied ; so I remained up long enough to compose the fol- 
lowing lines, which I insert, not because of their poetical 
merit, but because they serve to show the state of my 
mind at that time. A very little thing made me jealous, 
ind fearful that Helen had given her heart to another. 

I know a glad and beautiful maiden, 

Who warbles a bird-like glee ; 
And when my heart is wearily laden, 

She sings her songs to me ; 



298 TWICB REJECTED. 

I clasp her hand — her eyes meet mine, 
Till my cheeks with tears are wet ; 

I bask in smiles that seem divine, — 
And her I would forget ! 

By her side I We sat when fleeting hoars 

Were fall of heaven to me, 
And thought the blest in Eden's bowers 

Not half so happy as we ; 
I never knew such rapturous bliss 

TQ1 thus our souls had met, 
I wished no greater joy than this, — 

And her I would forget ! 

I love this glad and beautiful maiden, 

Who warbles a bird-like glee, 
And fancy I dwell in blissful Aidenn 

When she sings her songs to me. 
Her angel-face, bewitching eyes, 

Have all my thoughts beset, 
More beautiful than starry skies, — 

And her I would forget ! 

How long I *ve prayed that she might lore me ! - 

Alas ! my prayers are vain; 
My lot is dark, like skies above me, 

That lower with storm and rain ; 
I *ve loved her as I 've loved no other, — 

'T is useless, sad regret, 
She loves me not, but loves another,— 

And her I would forget ! 

After I had finished the above, I retired ; but it 
nearly morning before I fell asleep, and then I dreai 



TWICE REJECTED. 

that Helen was married to Mr. Gray. I fancied that I 
saw her standing at the altar, looking too beautiful to 
unite her fate to a mortal. While a sweet, angelic smile 
played upon her countenance, she gave her hand to Mr. 
Gray, and was lost to me forever. 

My agitation was so great, that I awoke, — and I was so 
happy to find it a dream ! The sun was just rising from 
his ocean bed, as I arose and dressed myself, and sat 
down by the open window, to let the fresh air cool my 
fevered brow. As I sat surveying the beautiful scene 
which lay before me, I espied Helen returning from a 
morning walk, in company with Mr. Gray. 

Header, you may think it a little thing; you may 
think that I was very silly; but the first glance of them 
caused a pang to shoot through my heart, bitter as death. 
My suspicions that he was her accepted lover were now 
confirmed, and the thought was agony. " If it is so," 
I said, " let me die, for there is no more joy for me ! " 
I tried to despise her for loving one so much her infe- 
rior, and to persuade myself that, were he her equal, I 
could bear to see her love and marry him. When they 
had arrived within a few rods of the house, they bade 
each other good-morning, and he walked hastily towards 
the village. I went down stairs, and met her at the 
door. 

" Good-morning," she said, in a sprightly tone. 

" Good- morning," I replied ; " you walk early." 
25* 



SM TWICE MJICTHD. 

11 I do, occasionally ; but no earlier than we used to 
ramble, before 70a went to New York." 

" I suppose your morning walks are more pleasant 
than they were then." 

" What makes you think so? " 

" Present appearances." 

" They are not more pleasant, Henri ; and I don't 
expect them to be, for they were very pleasant then." 

" I am glad to hear you say so. But who is this Mr. 
Gray, who seems to be so very attentive ? " 

" Why, Mr. Gray, to be sure." 

" I was aware of that fact But where is he from ? — 
what is his business? — how long have you been 
acquainted with him ? " 

" He is my music-teacher, a distant relative of Mrs. 
Stewart's ; and came into the country from Boston, early 
in the spring, for his health." 

" And does he not hold any other relation to you than 
that of a teacher of music ? " 

" I trust he does." 

" I thought as much." 

" He is my friend, Henri, and I hope he may be 
yours." 

" Your lover, you mean." 

" No, not a lover." 

"Do you speak truly?" 

" He has never formally proposed." 



TWICB KBJXCTSDv 295 

"But win soon?" 

" I do not know." 

"What do you think?" 

" I think he has no such thought or intention." 

" What should you say, if he did ? " 

"I don't know." 

" Don't know, Helen ? " 

" How should I, when I do not anticipate any such 
result ? But what foolish questions you are asking me, 
this morning ! I shall not answer any more." 

" I think I shall go home to-day." 

" So soon ? You cannot be in earnest. Why, you 
have but just arrived. You must not go to-day. Gome, 
look more cheerful, and say that you will stay a good 
long time." 

" I cannot promise you, Helen ; but, if you wish it* I 
will not go to-day." 

" Nor to-morrow neither ? " 

" Nor to-morrow." 

" Now you talk like yourself. I shall not let you go 
at present, I warrant you.". 

"Why not?" 

" I cannot spare you." 

" I should suppose you might" 

" And there you are mistaken. Why, you have been 
absent more than a year ! " 

"0, Helen, I could stay forever, if you bade me ! " 



296 TWICE REJECTED. 

" Then I shall use my authority not to keep you for- 
ever ; for you have other friends, and it would he unjust, 
— but long enough, at least, to learn what effect New 
York society has had upon you." 

" Don't mention New York, for I hate the sound." 

"Well, I will not, if you so desire. But I fear yon 
have grown irritable in your absence." 

"I fear I shall." 

" But I shall not allow it." 

" You can prevent it." 

" Can I ? Then I shall do so. But I must not stand 
and talk with you longer now, or you will miss those 
warm biscuits at breakfast you once liked so much." 

So saying, she darted in to her work, while I went to a 
walk, to indulge in not very pleasant reflections. 

I thought how different Helen appeared now to what 
she did when I left her, a year ago. She must have 
changed more than I. I blamed myself for ever having 
thought of marrying another, and wondered how I could 
have been so mad. It was only for a moment that I 
thought of returning home ; and I had not parted many 
minutes from Helen, before I was sorry that I had said 
anything about it. But it was some comfort to have her 
urge me to stay. It gave me a little bit of hope. 

Mr. Gray came in the afternoon, and gave her a lesson 
in music. At her request, I was present. A few days 
after, he came, stopped to tea, and spent the evening. 



TWICE fcEJECTED. 297 

Helen occupied so much of the time with him in conver- 
sation, that, when I left them, at ten, I was so unhappy, 
and so jealous, that I could not control my feelings, and 
walked my chamber, pouring execrations upon the unof- 
fending Gray. They had appeared happy ; but what a 
wretched evening had it been to me ! I again thought of 
returning home* Mr. Gray remained but a few moments 
after I had retired. 

In the morning I was little disposed to take my leave. 
I could not bear the thought of being away from Helen, 
lest somebody else should win her. It was happiness to 
be near her, though she gave me little reason to 
hope that I might ultimately gain her heart. Every day 
I had the same feelings, until three weeks had passed 
away, and I was apparently no nearer the attainment of 
my wishes than when I first came. She appeared 
friendly, and manifested a sisterly regard for me, — noth- 
ing more. Sometimes I could with difficulty control my 
feelings. I wanted to clasp her in my arms, and call her 
my own. 

We frequently spent part of the evening alone, and, 
more than once, I had made up my mind to ask her to 
give me her heart and hand ; but, before I could bring 
sufficient courage to my aid, we were interrupted by the 
entrance of uncle and aunt, or that hated Gray. 

Many of my readers have been placed in similar cir- 
cumstances, and so they can appreciate my feelings. The 



298 TWICE REJECTED. 

one you loved best was near you, and you had summoned 
sufficient courage to take one of her hands; and, al- 
though it struggled a little for freedom, you held on to 
it. In this situation you had talked of various things, 
approaching gradually that subject which interested yon 
most of all ; but, whenever you had come almost to it, 
when the way was fairly opened for a declaration of love, 
the whole thing looked so presumptuous and doubtful, 
that you would sit in silence for a time, and then you 
would go back and begin again. By such evolutions 
your courage was at last screwed up to the sticking point, 
when the door opened, and in walked the father or 
mother, or some other equally unwelcome visitor. This 
was exactly my case, for more than once ; but my time 
came finally. 

On the evening of the fifth of July we were alone, and 
there was no one to interrupt us. We conversed upon 
various subjects, but principally of romance and poetry. 
She had lately read a volume of Motherwell, and was in 
raptures with it. She handed it to me, and requested me 
to read aloud. I did so, choosing those pieces which would 
best convey the passionate emotions of my own heart, 
such as, " 0, Agony ! Keen Agony ! " " The Night's 
Song," &c. 

My whole heart was in the sentiment of the author, 
and I read with feeling and. pathos such lines as the 
following : 



TWICE REJECTED. 299 

" 0, agony ! fierce agony ! 
For loving heart to brook, 
In one brief hour, the withering power 
Of nnimpassioned look ! 

** 0, agony ! deep agony ! 
For heart that 's proud and high, 
To learn of fate how desolate 
It may be ere it die ! " 

" Endearing ! Endearing ! 

Why so endearing 
Are those dark, lustrous eyes, 

Through their silk fringes peering ? 
They love me ! they love me ! 

Deeply, — sincerely ; 
And, more than aught else on earth, 

I love them dearly. 

" Endearing ! endearing ! 

Why so endearing 

Glows the glad sunny smile, 

On thy soft cheek appearing ? 

It brightens ! it brightens ! 

As I am nearing ; 

o 

And 'tis thus that thy fond smile 
Is ever endearing." 

As I read on, throwing more of heart and soul into 
lach poepa, Helen became wholly swallowed up in the 
houghts and feelings expressed. Her eyes glowed with 
hat enrapturing spiritual beauty which, partakes more 



300 TWICE REJECTED. 

of heaven than earth ; her cheeks were flushed, and her 
bosom heaved with deep emotion. I paused, and looked 
at her, spell-bound. We sat some moments motionless 
as statues, gazing into each other's eyes, which seemed 
gushing with burning words, while our tongues were 
paralyzed with hope and fear. Presently she turned her 
head, and burst into tears. I felt that now was the time 
to learn my fate ; and I caught hold of her hands, and 
exclaimed, " 0, Helen, this is too much ! Suspense is 
agony, and I cannot bear it ! I love you, Helen, — I love 
only you ; and now you cannot, will not, refuse to make 
me happy ! " 

With a sad expression upon her face, and withdrawing 
her hands from mine, she said : 

" Henri, I wish — I am sorry for this ! If anything 
that I have done has caused you to make this declaration, 
I ask your pardon; I did not intend it, nor wish it." 

"Why are you sorry? It is not right for you to 
regret it ; and, if you consult your own heart, it will tell 
you so. I cannot doubt but that its emotions respond to 
fnine." 

" Nay, Henri, you flatter yourself too much ! " 
" Your words are cruel as the grave ; they cannot be 
true, for I believe that you love me." 
" I hope you will rest satisfied, then." 
" But I would rather hear it from your own lips." 
" You would not have me utter that which is false? " 



TWICE REJECTED. 301 

" No ; but yon cannot mean that it would be false. 
0, Helen ! do not keep me in suspense, but tell me at 
once that you will gratify the dearest and most sacred 
wishes of my heart I " - 

I paused for a reply, but she uttered not a word ; 
her head was resting upon her hand, as if in deep 
thought. 

"How shall I interpret this silence, Helen? Give 
me but one word, one look, one sign that I am beloved, 
and I will be satisfied ! " 

She remained silent, and I was about to clasp her to 
my heart, when she said, 

" Henri, this scene is very painful to me, and I wish, 
for the happiness of both, that it had not occurred. 
Whenever I say to any being c I love you,' those words 
will be most sacred, most holy, and they will, never be 
recalled ; but, should I say them to you now, I might 
have cause to take them back." 

" Never, Helen, for you would have my whole heart 
in exchange for yours ! You do love me, dearest ? " 

" I have not told you so, and it is possible for you to 
be mistaken." 

V No, no* I cannot be! I am convinced, by that 

sweet, entrancing glance that was fixed upon me but just 

now, that your heart must be mine, for I read its 

thoughts and emotions in your eyes. Then do not con- 

26 



802 TWICE BBJBCTBD. 

tinue my unhappiness, by refusing to confess a truth 
which will fill my breast with rapture ! " 

" If my heart has made this confession, you need not 
to learn it again; spoken language is less expressive 
than the language of the heart and eye. 1 ' 

" But tell me if I have read this language aright?" 

" After what I have already said to you, v Henri, you 
must be your own judge." 

" Helen, can I be satisfied with this ? " 

"You must." 

" I cannot, will not, be satisfied ! But perhaps there 
is a prior engagement ? You love Mr. Gray ! " 

" You have no right to say that ! " 

I was now growing jealous, and my thoughts were 
very bitter. 

" You. love him, I know you do ! " I exclaimed, in 
an excited tone. " You love one who is not your equal; 
and you will marry him, and end our friendship for- 
ever ! " 

" This from you, Henri ? " 

" Reject a heart, if you will, that beats only for you; 
and then be happy, if you can ! Marry Gray, if you are 
so disposed, and then see how you will feel when you 
learn, as you must, that he is far beneath you ! Do not 
think % to retain my love, friendship or respect, then; for 
you shall not have them ! " 

I paused, and gazed upon her face ; it was like marble 



TWICE REJECTED. 303 

in whiteness, and her eyes were fixed upon me as though 
astounded by the words I had uttered. Their strange 
expression caused me to reflect upon the import of my 
language. She seemed to instinctively recoil from me. 
I was just ready to apologize, when she arose and said : 

" Mr. Baton ! " — she had never called me Mr. before — 
" I would not have believed you could have talked thus 
to me ! I have been deceived in you ! Know you that I 
consider you unworthy of my love ! " 

Those last words made me angry, and my reply only 
widened the breach. 

" I am equal to Mr. Gray, I think, and I trust I am 
not inferior to you. I am not surprised, now, that it 
was so easy a matter for you to reject me ! " 

" Say no more, or I shall lose all my respect for you ; 
and I would not cease to respect one to whom I owe so 
much. May your better moments teach you the cruel 
injustice of this ! " 

The tears were now streaming from her eyes ; and, as 
she was about to leave me, I sprang and caught her 
hands, and begged her not to go. 

"Unhand me!" she said, resolutely; "and do not 
touch me again ! " 

" But hear me, Helen, I pray you ! " 

" I leave you to your own reflections." 

As she went up the stairs which led to her chamber, 
I heard her sob bitterly. Thus left alone, I seated my- 



304 TWICti kRTBCTBl). 

self upon the so& where she had sat but a few minutes 
before, and, burying my head in my hands, gave loose 
rein to my own dark thoughts. For a time I fancied 
that Helen was unjust and cruel; but the mist soon 
melted away from my vision, and I saw how foolish I 
had been. I was fearful that I had sealed my fate, and 
that she was forever lost to me. What a mean thing she 
must think me ! I had conducted myself as though I 
had a right to claim her hand, and I had told her that 
I was convinced she loved me; but that was not 
enough, — I mu§t add insult, and cruelly wound one of the 
most pure and sensitive beings in the world ! 

" That very hour, when passion, turned to wrath, 
Resembled hatred most, 
Made my whole soul a chaos ; — in that hour 
The tempters found me." * 

I could hardly find it in my heart to justify Helen for 
saying that she did not consider me worthy of her love; 
but I felt that, had I been wooing Irene Dinneford, I 
should have shown more deference, and not have said 
"You love me,— your heart responds to mine," &c. 
And yet, considering all the circumstances, my demeanor 
towards Helen should have been more respectful than 
towards Irene. But my transgression did not end here ; 

• "The Lady of Lyons." 



TWICE REJECTED. 805 

I had shown my littleness by getting jealous and angry, 
and so had foolishly wounded one whom I knew to cher- 
ish the deepest gratitude in her heart toward me for what 
I had done for her. It is well to confer favors, but low 
and mean, ay, contemptible, to ever show, by words 
or actions, in your intercourse with those you have bene- 
fited, that you have not forgotten your good deeds, and 
look for something in return. That moment the benefac- 
tion is cancelled; and what was truly a blessing becomes 
a cankering curse ! 

What frail beings we are, and how prone to err ! Pas- 
sion bends us before the might of its power, and sways 
us to and fro as the heavy winds sway the trees of the 
forest. Under its influence we say and do a thousand 
things, which, a moment after, we would give worlds to 
recall ! The longer I thought of our conversation, the 
more I condemned myself; and I only found relief by a 
good, hearty, unmanly cry. I remained in one position 
until I heard my uncle and aunt drive up to the door, 
when I sought my bed ; but not to sleep, for disappoint- 
ment and remorse frightened slumber from my pillow. 
I tossed and tumbled all night long, and was glad when 
I saw the first approach of day. I arose while it was 
yet dark, and went out to ramble, I knew not and cared 
not whither, if I could only get away from my own 
thoughts. 

Unconsciously I wandered to the spot I have before 
26* 



806 TWICE REJECTED. 

described, where was the rock in the valley aft the M 
of the hill, and the brook and trees forming circles at its 
base. I had been far beyond it, and came up on the side 
opposite to that approached when going directly from the 
house. Judge of my surprise to find a female kneeling 
at the foot of the rock, her head laid in the niche. A 
nearer view convinced me that it was Helen. I listened, 
and found that she was weeping bitterly. What should I 
xdo now? Turn and fly, or go to her, and seek to dry her 
tears and dispel her griefs ? I could not leave her there 
alone ; and, with a palpitating heart, slowly approached 
her. I stopped within a few feet of her, for I could go 
no further. Every sob which fell upon my ear pierced 
my heart like an arrow. As I looked upon her, my 
bosom heaved a deep sigh ; she heard it, and sprang to 
her feet, and hastily brushed away the tears. 

" Forgive me, Helen," I said ; " I knew not that you 
were here." 

" It is easily forgiven, then," she answered. 

"And cannot you forgive where there is injury, 
Helen?" 

" It was never a difficult thing for me to forgive 
injuries." 

" Then pardon me for the unjustifiable language I 
made use of to you last night." 

" I do, Henri, with all my heart." 

" I thank you, Helen ; and may God bless you as you 



TWIOB REJECTED. &67 

deserve ! Last night I Buffered bitterly; reproaching 
myself for what I had done, and fearing that I had lost 
jour friendship forever. I will never offend again, Helen; 
and I beg of you to restore me to the same place in 
your affections which I once enjoyed." 

" I will do so ; for I am glad to find that in your 
better moments you are what you always were. You 
are not bad nor unfeeling, but hasty and passionate." 

" Bless you, my own, dear Sister ! I thought your 
heart had changed ; but I find that it possesses the gentle 
and forgiving spirit of your childhood." 

" And I would not have it otherwise, Henri ; fbir, if 
ever I allow myself to harbor revengeful feelings, then I 
am most unhappy." 

" I wish that I could forgive as readily as you: can ! n 

11 If you try, you can." 

" It is very hard to Ibrgive, sometimes." 

"Very true. But the reason why we cannot is 
because we do not wish it. Your words <iut me to the 
heart, last night, and lowered you* very much in my 
opinion; and, had I not wished for a reconciliation, I 
should not so readily have forgiven you." 

" I was angry and jealous, Helen, or I should not 
have spoken as I did. But there is time for atonement 
j>Jake my case your own, and then judge what my feel- 
ings must have been. I thought you cruel to reject me, 
and I i^ts fearful that you had pven your heart to 



808 TWIOB REJECTED. 

another. There was a mingling in my feelings of db> 
appointed love, jealousy, bitterness and despair." 

" Best assured that I will judge you in the most favor- 
able light. But, Henri, as we are now friends again, 
permit me to tell you that, if you would live peaceably 
and happily, you must learn to control your feelings and 
passions. When you are married, unless you conquer 
this habit, you may, in a moment of excitement, heap 
unjustifiable reproaches upon your wife ; and, should she 
possess a delicate, sensitive mind, how her heart would 
be made to bleed ! " 

" I will heed your admonitions, fair instructress ; and 
henceforth, when the evil spirit is seeking to bend me to 
his purpose, I will think of you ; and there shall be a 
magic in the thought, which shall disarm the demon, and 
send him powerless away." 

"Look to Heaven; for God is mighty, and mortals 
are weak." 

" But God makes use of erring mortals to accomplish 
a good work, even His work ; and you shall be the good 
angel, to charm away all evil." 

" I am weak, as well as you ; but I will aid you all I 
can, and that will be but little. You must rely upon 
yourself, and trust in God." 

" And yet, I would have your aid. and sympathy, 
because I have so much confidence in you. I have felt, 
for some years, that I was not fitted to stand alone. I 



TWICE EEJEtfTED. 809 

know my own nature so well that I fear cruel disappoint- 
ment.'* 

" The true soul will be brave in all trials. Tou can- 
not overcome the faithful." 

" But very few, comparatively, Helen, can stand firm, 
when the pitiless storm of misfortune is beating upon 
them, unless there is some near and dear one to sustain 
them. You may talk to the old man of the necessity of 
looking to God for support, when his limbs have become 
weak, and he is tottering to his grave; and, though he 
trusts never so much, he will need a human arm to lean 
upon, or a stout cane which the good God has caused to 
grow for his use and support, when he has nd longer 
strength sufficient to sustain his decaying body." 

"Well, Henri, I believe you are right; and I doubt 
not that, when you need more strength than you tttiW' 
have, you will find the being who is capable of imparting 
it to you. As lor us, let us be like a good brother and 
sister, and then we can strengthen each other." 

"I appreciate your friendship, Helen, and your sis- 
terly love ; and I assure you that I value them highly. 
But I can imagine that the time may come when they 
-would be of nothing worth to me. There have been 
brothers who have felt very sad to see favorite sisters 
wholly devoted to. others — to see them married. And 
how should I feel to see yovt a wife? But is not the 



810 TWICE REJECTED 

relation of brother and sister too cold for as 7 And is 
not friendship, view it as you will, tame and insipid?" 

" 0, no, Henri ! do not say that ! — it is a holy rela- 
tion ! " 

"I know it, but — " 

" Nay, I would not have you undervalue friendship* 
or sisterly regard. But it is time I had returned. 
Gome, let us go ; it is not well to tarry longer." 

I mechanically obeyed, somewhat puzzled to under- 
stand Helen. More than once she had manifested for 
me, by her looks, a regard, I thought, stronger than 
friendship; and but just now the beautiful expression 
had flitted a moment upon her face. If she cherished 
no other feeling but friendship, why was this ? Surely 
she cannot be a coquette. My thoughts were broken in 
upon by Helen's remarking that the weather was delight- 
ful. 

" Very beautiful," I replied. "But the motft beautifid 
things in nature sometimes jar upon our feelings." 

" I pray you cease to indulge in such thoughts. 
Gome, you will mar all our happiness. Let us be as 
we once were." 

" I fear we never shall be." 

" Be not faithless, but believing." 

" 0, Helen ! " 

"Look at the petals of this pretty flower, Henri 



i 



TWICE REJECTED. 811 

Bow soft they are, and what bright tints ! Are they 
not beautiful? Come, — you don't look at them." 

" They are very pretty," I replied. 

" Is that all? You ought to talk with your uncle 
about flowers. He would not call you silly, as he does 
me." 

" Does he call you so ? " 

" Yes, he does. We go out for a walk, and I find a 
beautiful flower, and carry it to him, and tell him all 
about it, showing him all the tinted and downy leaves, 
and then he will say, c Well, if you are not a silly girl, 
to make such a fuss about so insignificant a thing as 
that ! One would suppose you had found a great hunk 
of gold!' 

" And then I tell him that gold is not half so 
beautiful as my flower ; and he will laugh at me, and 
say that ( where ignorance is bliss, 't is folly to be wise,' 
or some such provoking thing." 

" Uncle likes to have his joke." 

"I know he does, bless him! But he don't like 
flowers as well as I do." 

" There are very few who do." 

" That is strange. Why, I loved them when I was 
a little ragged fright, and gathered dandelions for Deacon 
Webber. I one day saved all the yellow flowers, and 
tied a spire of grass around them; but when I. went 



{JJ.2 XWXOB BBJEOTBD. 

home, the deacon threw them in my face, and boxed my 
ears soundly for so wasting my time." 

" The brute ! " 

" There, that evil being is getting possession of you 
again ! I see that you will have to watch and pray, lest 
you enter into temptation." 

" With you by my side, there would be but little 
danger of temptation." 

" Do you think so ? Remember last night." 

We had now arrived home, and our conversation 
ended,— I more in toye than ever. The reader may 
think it strange that I should still remain, after such a 
decided refusal Under different circumstances, I should 
most likely have returned home at once. But I had 
lived year* with Helen, and had engaged to marry 
another in a brief period after I left my uncle's. My 
aunt had told me, confidentially, that Helen appeared 
greatly distressed when she learned of my engagement ; 
and she doubted not that her subsequent ill-health and 
lQW spirits were mainly caused by it ; besides, I saw 
many things which convinced me that I was not wholly 
indifferent to her. I fancied that her affections had 
received a severe shock, from which they might in time 
recover. I believed that, if I had offered myself prior to 
going to New York, she would at once have accepted 
me. Had I been true to her, one refusal would so have 
.wounded my pride, that it is doubtful whether I should 



TWIOB KBJBCTBD. 318 

have eve* broached the subject again. I knew that^ 
without her, life would be robbed of all its beauty; with 
her, I should be happy. I alone must win the priceless 
jewel, and wear it next my heart. 

Another week passed away, and though we were much ' 
of the time together, I did not approach the subject 
which interested me most .of all. Not that I had less 
inclination, but I was fearful of jeopardising privileges 
which I now enjoyed. Helen had seemed to forget the 
past, and unreservedly gave me her affection and esteem. 
Like happy children, wo rambled and chatted gayly 
together. We read from the same book, sitting under 
shady trees, or at home in the parlor, where we spent 
the most of our time, rarely interrupted ; for the old 
folks, so it seemed to me, began to consider us lovers, 
and thought that, like lovers, we should be happiest when 
left to ourselves. The arrangement suited me, and I 
hoped it did Helen. Mr. Gray was no longer in town 
to trouble me. I was present when he bade theih all 
good-by, saying he should not return until another 
spring. I saw him depart with infinite satisfaction. I 
never believed for a moment that Helen would marry 
him ; and yet, with the consistency of a jealous lover, I 
was all the time fretting myself lest she should. 

We were in the parlor, ona evening, just at dusk. The 
day had been exceedingly hot, and the air oppressive ; 
for the earth was parched with heat. In the afternoon, 
27 



814 TWICE REJECTED. 

a cloud had arisen in the west, darkened all the heavens, 
and, amid heavy winds, loud thunder, and fierce light- 
ning, had poured down the water in torrents, washing the 
dust from the leaves of the trees, pattering all over the 
fields, which held up their dusty faces to catch the jew- 
elled drops, which made them look clean and bright 
again. 

When the shower had passed over, the air was clear 
and bracing, the birds sang gayly, and everything seemed 
quickened with renewed life. The leaves on the trees, 
the spires of grass in the fields, vines and shrubbery, 
glittered, as the setting sun shone upon them, like robes 
studded with pearls, and sparkled although hung with 
millions of jewels. 

On such an evening we sat alpne. We had noted the 
happy change which nature hacl so speedily undergone, 
like a weary traveller, throwing off dusty, soiled robes, 
and putting on clean and befitting apparel. We watched 
the sun as it went down in the clear, blue sky, throwing 
a golden light over hill and valley, and brightening all 
the scene with its mellow rays. Spell-bound, we gazed 
at the myriads of starry eyes that looked out from every 
tree and bower, and smiled and glistened on the face of 
every green field, hill and dale. The king of day was 
no longer in view ; the yellow lustre, which lingered for 
a time, faded gradually away, and the shadows began to 
gather around. They stole noiselessly into the room 



i 



TWICE REJECTED. 815 

where we sat, darkening the corners, creeping slyly 
under the sofas, . tables, and chairs. Anon they were 
taking their places under the trees, by the sides of fences 
and buildings, gathering in vast lumbers in yonder 
woods, and in duAme pouring out and besieging, and 
darkening all the world. Then Venus, that most beau- 
tiful of the starry hosts, which millions say " is xhine," 
with her sparkling fingers removed the slight blue veil 
which covered her face, and looked down upon the earth 
brightly, smilingly, as beautiful as when she first took 
her place in the soft blue sky. 

" There is my star ! " said Helen. 

" What if I should claim it as mine ? " 

" We shall not quarrel, if you do ; for it is like God's 
love, — all can have it." 

" How long we have sat without speaking ! " 

" With no loss of enjoyment, I hope? " 

"No." 

" Gould we have been as happy, do you think, had we 
conversed?" 

" I do not know." 

" There are moments, Henri, when spoken words would 
diminish, and not add to, our felicity." 

"Do you think so?" 

" Ay, truly. When the soul drinks in large draughts 
of the harmony, beauty, light and glory of the gods, — 
when it feasts on life's holiest, most nutritious aliment, — 



316 TWICE REJECTKD. 



i 



whatpower have poor spoken words to add to the sum 
of our spiritual felicity 7 fyf ethinks that at such a time 
they are but harsh discords ! " 

" You are growing eloquent, Helen ! " 

" It is but the eloquence of truth."*^ 

" I do not doubt it; but the number who ever taste 
of such pure delights is comparatively small." 

"I fear that what you say is true; tut why is it, 
when there are so many things in the world to beautify 
and enrapture the soul? " 

" It is because the mind is not sufficiently expanded 
and elevated ; the affections and thoughts are animal, and 
not spiritual. The low and depraved find enjoyment in 
the company of the vile and repulsive ; they are merry, 
and at home, where the elevated soul would suffer the 
most cruel agony. The reason of this is obvious; the 
mind, the heart, the affections, are in harmony with the 
vice, filth and dark depravity, by which they are sur- 
rounded.' ' 

" 0, when will man rise above these things, and be 
pure and spiritual ? " 

" When truth shall be brought to bear directly upon 
his heart ; when a more perfect social state shall take the 
place of the discordant, unequal, antagonistic, selfish 
one, which now exists." 

" What do you mean by a more perfect social state? " 

" Did you never think of the false and selfish relations 



TWICE BEJBCTED. 817 

* 
which now exist in society? — the continual clashing of 
interests, ever stirring up enmities betwixt man and man, 
setting brother against brother and friend against friend ; 
beginning with individuals, and extending from them 
to neighborhoods, from neighborhoods to towns, from 
towns to counties, from counties to states, from states to 
nations? It is like the pebble thrown into the water, 
forming circle after circle, wider and wider, until they 
reach the surrounding shore." 

" I have often thought of these things ; but where is 
the remedy?" 

" In a more perfect social state. It is vain to. look for 
harmony, peace and brotherly love, while these false and 
conflicting relations exist. Now, every man seeketh his 
own and not his brother's welfare. The few live in 
idleness and luxury, the many in weary toil and pov- 
erty ; and this state of things waxes worse, causing 
crime, disease, and suffering." 

" And can there be a state which will equalize labor, 
banish poverty and crime, and cause men to live in 
peace?" 

"I do not doubt it; the people should associate to- 
gether, so that their hours of labor may be diminished, 
and their interests no longer clash. All should do some- 
thing, and do that kind of labor for which they are best 
adapted. Labor should be made attractive, and then 
there would be no drones. Men are not naturally averse 
27* 



818 TWICE BBJECXBD. 

to labor \ but it is the circumstances by which they an 
surrounded, or the unsuitable kind of labor, or over-work, 
which makes them, averse to it." 

" Your views are new to me. If there could be a state 
of society in which every one could be of service to bis 
brother, while serving himself, it would be glorious. 
Society, then, would be truly divine." 

" A divine order of society is the true order of so- 
ciety. How harmonious are all the laws of nature ! The 
myriads of planets and suns which move through the in- 
finity of space are so governed by attraction and repul- 
sion, that there is never a discord, — no clashing, but 
perfect harmony. The very stars roll to music ! Na- 
ture, in all her varied aspects, is still harmonious ! Poets 
tell us of her unwritten music ; and the thought is beau- 
tiful and inspiring, that throughout the great anthem of 
the universe there is no discord, but delightful harmony 
running through the whole, — sometimes soft, pathetic, 
low, beautiful, and enrapturing, — sometimes mournful, 
sad, plaintive, or loud, wild, and passionate. The crash 
of thunders, roar of winds and tempests, are as free from 
discord as sighs of zephyrs, humming of insects, rustle 
of leaves, murmuring of brooks, and singing of birds," 

f< You, too, are growing eloquent." 

" 1 ought to, upon so glorious a subject as this. I 
have faith to believe that man has not yet reached his 
true destiny j he will learn, by and by, that any wrong 



TWICE BEJSCTXD. 319 

done to one of his fellow-beings affects not only the one 
who is wronged, but the one who is guilty of the wrong ; 
and it does not stop there, hut extends abroad, touching, 
witk its wizard fingers, the fortunes of thousands, and 
blighting wherevjgr it touches ; — the fairest flowers of 
life, peace, joy, happiness, wither in its presence, while 
the most noxious weeds, hatred, envy, jealousy, grow 
and flourish greatly." 

" It is truly so, I doubt not; but man does not under- 
stand it as yet Every one is seeking for earthly treas- 
ures ; and with many it is a virtue, rather than a vice, to 
be able to get the best end of the bargain." 

" Honesty is said to be the best policy ; but very few 
really believe the proverb to be true, — hence they use any 
safe means to get rich. The motto is, ' Put money in 
your purse ; ' — honestly, if you can ; if not, dishonestly." 

" And every dishonest act, you think, brings with it a 
train of evils?" 

" It must be so. No one can do wrong without feeling 
the effect in his own life, or without its having an effect 
upon his own life ; and the evil, and the effect of it, may 
run through the world." 

" But do not good deeds also affect the world, and live 
on forever? " 

" Yes, thank heaven ! and they are more potent than 
deeds of evil ; and this should encourage us to persevere, 
knowing that the right and the true shall ultimately 



320 TWICE REJECTED. 

V-.. 
triumph. l The good shall live forever, but the evil shall 
die.' " 

" I thank you for what you have said, for it is food 
for thought and reflection. I am always grateful for a 
new thought, because new thoughts expand the mind and 
soul." 

During our conversation, t had unconsciously wound 
my arm around Helen's waist, and clasped both of her 
hands in mine. I saw that my words had favorably im- 
pressed her, and that she was regarding me with that 
beautiful expression which glowed on no countenance but 
hers. " Now is my time," thought I ; " one more trial, 
and, if she rejects me, it shall be the last. It is the time, 
the hour for love, and I must succeed ! " 

We sat some time in silence, she seeming as well 
pleased with her position as I wiih mine. At length I 
addressed her thus : 

" Helen, I have been very happy with you to-night; 
so happy, that the bliss of years seems concentrated into 
moments. There is but one thing wanting to make my 
bliss complete." 

"0, Henri, don't! We are happy now, — let that 
suffice." 

" It cannot suffice ! Promise to be mine, and it is all 
I ask ! " 

"It is not right for you to speak of this again so 
soon ! Do not say any more, I pray you ! " 



TWICK BBJBCTBD. 821 

While saying this, she withdrew her hands from mine, 
and removed my arm from her waist 

" I cannot think it wrong, Helen ! Ton wrong me, 
and wrong yourself, by repelling me from you ! " 

I now arose, and walked the floor, greatly excited. 

"Becalm, Henri !" 

" No, no ! I cannot, will not be calm ! Say that you 
are mine, now, this moment ! — for I cannot wait longer ! " 

I did not wait for an answer, but caught her in my 
arms, and folded her vehemently to my breast 

" Henri," she said, " let me go ! " 

"No, I will not until you promise to become my 
wife!" 

" I command you ! " 

" And will you not be mine, Helen ? " 

"No, I cannot" 

I now released her, and said, "Helen, this is the 
last time I shall trouble you. Accept now, for I never 
will ask you again ! " 

She remained silent. 

" I give you till to-morrow to consider of it; reflect 
well, and then decide. Think of the depth of my affec- 
tions, and that they are all yours ! If then you reject 
me, I take my immediate departure." 

" Tou have my answer now ; I cannot change it" 

" My determination is fixed, then.; I depart early in 
the morning." 



123 




roamoihe 



i* 






H 

d silent 

utfli to-sonov Ip mwi i i'j ct it; reflect 

decide. «■* «f tfcAspiiof mj aflee- 

t they «e d yww/ Jf den joa reject 




j J cannot change it" 
'■ttea; i depwt earljin 



V 



822 TWICE REJECTED. 

" I would not have you go ! " 

" But go I shall ; so take your choice, either to be 
mine, or be separated from me." 

" You will sometimes write me ? " 

" No ! " 

" But you will come and see us again soon? " 

" Not for a year." 

"A year!" 

" Yes, and longer, perhaps." 

" You will not forget your friend Helen ? " 

" I will try to forget her." 

" And I will remember you ; and, if ever I pray in sin- 
cerity and truth, it shall be for your welfare and happi- 
ness." 

" 0, Helen ! " 

" We may meet again, Henri, when the skies shall be 
brighter, and the landscapes more beautiful." 

" I dare not hope it now, Helen. The future looks 
all dark." 

" It will brighten again." 

" Never ! " 

" Look not on the dark side of life ; — the- light is more 
hopeful and beautiful." 

" It is all dark for me." 

" Peace and light shall come again." 

She took my hand, and said, " God bless you ! " 



TWIGS REJECTED. 823 

looked kindly, but sadly into my face, whispered " Good- 
night," and hastened to her room. 

After passing a sleepless night, I arose and prepared 
for my departure, half hoping that Helen might relent. 
My uncle and aunt were surprised at my sudden resolu- 
tion to leave them ; but, as I told them it was necessary 
for me to go, they said no more about it. Helen still 
looked sad, but showed no signs of relenting ; and I was 
obliged to bid her good-by with no hope of ever having 
the right to call her my own. When I was about to 
start, she offered me her hand, which I grasped with 
fervor, scarcely able to restrain myself from again 
folding her to my heart. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 

I found everything going on harmoniously at home, 
for peace and happiness had returned to a long-deserted 
roof. Mrs. Stewart was the good angel who watched oyer 
the interests of all. She had found the children in a 
worse state than she left them. They were more fretful 
and ungovernable ; but the vicious influences, which had 
so long surrounded them, were removed ; and, for her, 
it was not a very hard thing to eradicate much of the evil, 
which had been growing and taking deeper root for so 
many years. They would frequently let their passions, 
for some trivial cause, run away with their judgments; 
but she was ever ready, with her word of peace and look 
of love and forbearance, to soothe and calm the troubled 
sea of passion. 

There is a power in goodness which the most aban- 
doned may be made to feel. It can tame the most fierce, 
and cause the madman to become as gentle as a little 
child. The raging passions are calmed and stilled in its 
presence, even as Jesus calmed the stormy sea, when he 
said, " Peace, peace, be still." The reason why evil 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 825 

gains so many victories is, because there is so much pro- 
fessed and so little real every-day-life goodness in the 
world. 

The influence of Mrs. Stewart was just what was 
wanted to counteract the evils which had so long mingled 
with the very air which my brothers and sisters inhaled. 
There is nothing more fatal to a family of children than 
to live with those who are abusive, overbearing, wicked, 
self-righteous, fault-finding and quarrelsome. It makes 
them like those with whom they reside. Many children 
are passionate, overbearing and quarrelsome, because 
their parents are so. They inherit bad dispositions from 
them, and example and practice make them worse. And 
yet such parents wonder why their children should be so 
hasty and passionate ! 

While on my visit at uncle's, I had scarcely lifted my 
hand to do any kind of work ; but now I thought the best 
thing that I could do was to aid my brothers in their work 
on the farm. I was suffering from low spirits and ill health, 
caused by my recent disappointment. I thought labor 
in the open air would be most conducive to health, and 
exert a greater healing power than medicines. A farm 
is the best place for invalids, especially those of cities and 
large villages; for they need the pure country air, and 
that kind of labor which will call all the powers of the 
physical system into action. Most of the drugs prescribed 
for the sick poison and* corrupt the blood, while labor 
28 



826 NEW LEBANON. — THE 6HAKEES. 

upon a farm, regular hours, good air and wholesome food, 
remove disease and restore health. 

It took us, with our hired help, till the twentieth of 
August to finish haying. The exercise was beneficial to 
me ; but it is vain to expect bodily health when the mind 
is diseased. 

I have not spoken, for some time, of Deacon Webber. 
The week previous to my arrival home he met with a sad 
mishap. He was detected in purloining a part of the 
money collected at the last communion season. This led 
to an investigation, which made it very evident that he 
had done so for years. A church-meeting was imme- 
diately called, when all the facts were laid before it, and 
he was unanimously expelled. It was not long before 
everybody found out that he was always a bad man. The 
members of the church said they never had any con- 
fidence in him. The crime of stealing money collected 
for church purposes was looked upon by his brethren as 
almost equal to the unpardonable sin; and some were 
certain that it jyas the very sin itself, especially when the 
deed was done by a deacon. 

When Helen Means lived with him, pale, ragged and 
dirty, the number was not very large in the church who 
thought the deacon was guilty of sin in thus treating 
her like a brute. But there were some who regarded the 
matter as Christians should ; but they were powerless in 
numbers and influence. Many others would have con- 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 327 

demned him,, if they had known all the facts. Those 
■who were now loudest in their condemnation then vented 
their maledictions upon my head, because I had aided the 
poor girl to escape from one who shamefully abused her. ' 
When will people learn that the beings upon whom God 
has stamped his image, without regard to nation, clime or 
color, are holier and more sacred than rites, ceremonies, 
holy days and sacred places ? Better steal from an hun- 
dred churches than wrong one little, helpless child. 

On the first of September, my sister Jane was married 
to Herbert Mansfield, a young farmer, who lived in a 
neighboring town. At her wedding I again saw Helen 
Means. She was cordial as a sister, — nothing more. If 
it had not been for Jane's feelings, and Mrs. Stewart's, I 
should not have been present. I treated her with more of 
coldness than I ever manifested towards any being before 
in whom I had the least interest. My conduct was noticed, 
and Mrs. Stewart seemed hurt. Helen returned with my 
uncle and aunt, the next day after Jane's marriage. In 
spite of my coldness, she urged me to come and pay them 
another visit soon. I bade her remember what I said 
the evening of our last interview. 

" Then," said she, " I shall come and see you." 

" Possibly you may," I replied. 

I was not present when she left for home, and this I 
did not regret ; for it might have been a hard task to have 
preserved my stoical coolness, and manifested no emotion. 



328 NSW LEBANON. — THE SHAKEB& 

It may be asked, where were Helen's parents, during 
this time 1 They were written to repeatedly, without any 
answer being returned. Then direct search was made 
for them, but no such family could be found. 

I now resolved to visit New York, and from there go 
whereVer my inclinations might lead me. The visit of 
Helen had only made me more restless and uneasy,— 
I wanted excitement. I encountered much opposition 
in my plan, especially from Mrs. Stewart; but go I 
must I went to Boston ; from there to Providence, 
and by steamboat to New York city. I found my 
friends well, happy and prosperous. Ernest and Irene 
were to be married the first week in November, and I 
was expected to be present. They both seemed highly 
delighted to see me, but I was ill at ease in their com- 
pany ; for their mutual happiness made me think still 
more of my own disappointment 

i had the pleasure of an introduction to Ernest's 
mother, who was in New York, on a visit I found her 
an intelligent, agreeable lady, who looked as though her 
experience had been bitter and painful. 

After spending a week in New York, I took a sail up 
the Hudson, and landed at Albany. In this beautiful 
city I tarried a number of days. At my hotel I became 
acquainted with a gentleman and wife and two daughters, 
who had been to Saratoga Springs and Niagara Falls. 
The weather was so warm and pleasant that they had 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKEBS. 829 

determined to visit New Lebanon Springs, and remain 
there as long as the pleasant weather lasted. I gladly 
accepted an invitation to accompany them, for I found 
them intelligent and agreeable. We engaged a private 
carriage to carry us to Lebanon, which landed us, in a 
few hours, at the Columbia House. 

In this charming spot we remained a number of weeks ; 
for the weather continued beautiful until the first of 
November. New Lebanon has many attractions, and for 
real beauty and variety of scenery it is seldom surpassed. 
There was but one thing lacking, to make it perfect to my 
eye. A sheet of water, quietly reposing in the valley, would 
give it the finishing stroke. It might then be too beauti- 
ful. Early in the morning, it required but little imagin- 
ation to supply this deficiency. Looking down from 
either of the many eminences which overlook the valley, 
you behold a white vapor, resting there so calmly that it 
seems like a lake. I have often climbed those hills at 
early dawn, and feasted my eyes and soul upon the 
beauty and grandeur which were all around me. The 
white lake, at the foot of an hundred hills and mountains, 
would soon depart, when old Sol came up from behind 
them, and looked down upon it with his eyes of fire. Up 
the mountain sides the silvery mist would creep, laying 
hold of the shrubs and trees with its spirit-hands, pulling 
itself upward until it gained the highest summit ; and 
then, catching a ray of the sun, it changed to a rosy hue, 
28* 



880 NEW LEBANON.— THE BHAKBBS. 

and flew away to heaven. Aa I gaaed upon tie beautt- 
ful sight, I thought of the spirits of men, lifted by tie 
rays of the " San of righteousness " up to their God. 

Sometimes, in my rambles, I would take the road 
leading to Pittsfield. In a few minutes I would attain a 
sufficient elevation to tempt me to tarry, and take a view 
of the scene. With rapture I would gaze upon the fields 
running away up to the tops of the mountains, dotted 
over with trees, burdened with corn, ripening for the 
harvest. Yonder, in the valley, was a fine growth of 
wood, the trees waving in the morning breeze. All 
around it were greenest fields, with an undulating sur- 
face, smiling as the golden sunbeams shot down upon 
them. Beyond these were still other fields and groves. 
The hills all around were covered with trees, grass, or 
ripening grain. In the valley was the little village of 
Lebanon, reposing as quietly as a beautiful bird in a 
green 'tree. 

Walking on some hundred rods further, the scenery 
was equally beautiful, though its aspect was greatly 
changed. In an -opposite direction, at a certain point, 
you could take in, with one sweep of vision, miles of the 
most delightful and sublime scenery. It was difficult to 
say at what point the view was the best; for, if you trav- 
elled in a hundred different directions, you would find the 
scenery different at every point. One moment you would 
think, "it is the most beautiful here; " and the next, 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 381 

haying changed your position, the most beautiful there. 
The surface was so rounding and full in its undulations, 
— wave rising on wave, — and there were so many of 
them, and so different, that you could wily say, "it is 
all beautiful, all glorious ; " reminding one of the changes 
of countenance with some beautiful woman, each one 
beautiful, and yet difficult to say which the most beauti- 
ful. It is said that there is but a step from the sublime 
to the ridiculous ; and in one of my rambles I had an 
illustration of the feet. At the hotel I had been intro- 
duced to a fat, good-natured gentleman of sixty. He 
had formerly been a merchant in Boston ; trad, having 
accumulated a large fortune, he retired from business, 
and purchased a farm some twenty miles from the city. 
He built him a splendid house and other buildings, and 
then employed an experienced farmer, and commenced 
the cultivation of his land. But, contrary to the expect- 
ation of his neighbors and friends, he studied agriculture, 
not that he might make his home beautiful and attractive 
to the mind and heart, but so productive that his family 
would find ample support, without using his vast income 
from railroad, factory, and bank stock, and rents from 
buildings, &c. To have flowers growing around his 
house he thought entirely superfluous; but he entered 
largely into the cultivation of grapes, because they would 
sell readily, and at high prices. In front of his house 
was a large field, nearly level, containing six acres. He 



332 NSW LEBANON. — THE SH AKKRA 

studied some time how to tain that to the best advantage. 
He finally prepared it for an onion-field, and, in due 
time, it yielded him great profits. 

On one of the most beautiful mornings in October, I 
arose early, and went to the top of a high eminence, to 
see the sun rise. Not a cloud was in the heavens, and 
the sky was of the deepest blue, and the green earth was 
free from mists and fogs. There was a hill covered with 
woods between me and the sun ; and it was higher than 
the one upon which I stood, so that I could not see the 
sun when it first appeared above the horizon. But I 
was amply repaid for the loss ; for the golden king flashed 
his burning rays through the trees, and lit up the woods 
with a strange fire, — for they looked red and glowing, and 
there was no smoke or cinders to obscure the beauty and 
grandeur of the scene. I was in raptures, and I wanted 
some dear friend to share my joy. In a few minutes, 
the sun rose proudly above the hills, and poured his rays 
down upon the valleys of Lebanon, covering them all 
over with smiles. I gazed around me, happy and blest, 
drinking in largely of this soul-reviving nectar of the 
gods, of which the valleys were brimming. Some two 
hundred rods from where I stood I saw my fat acquaint- 
ance, gazing about him as though he was enraptured, as 
well as I. He had chosen his point of observation well, 
for miles of the most beautiful and varied scenery could 
be taken in at one view. He saw me, and directed his 



HBW LEBANON.— THB SHAKERS, 383 

steps towards me; and I, at the same time, towards him. 
If e soon met, when he said : 

" Good-morning, Mr. Eaton;. a fine, breezy morning." 

" Very beautiful," I replied ; " and I have enjoyed it 
richly." 

" Well, so have I; for it is healthy, and gives one a 
sharp appetite for breakfast. A good breakfast and a 
good appetite are capital things, Mr. Eaton." 

" Very true; but this scenery is so magnificent and 
enchanting that the soul may feed upon it." 

" Why, yes, the scenery is well enough, I suppose ; 
but it 's lonesome, rather lonesome, Mr. Eaton, — not 
after my sort, exactly." 

" But don't you think that such a scene as is here 
spread out before us is eminently adapted to the wants 
of man's higher and better nature ? " 

" Well, I don't know about man's higher and better 
nature ; I never discovered it yet, and I have had some 
dealings with the animal in my day ; — selfish, all selfish, 
Mr. Eaton." 

" But you believe in it, do you not 1 " 

" Can't say as I do* It will do well enough to talk 
about. It's what they call poetry, I suppose; — you 
have been reading poetry, I make no doubt, Mr. Eaton. 
I can get enough to feed on, down to the Columbia 
Etouse ; but this scenery would starve a cat,— yes, starve 
a cat, Mr. Eaton. Ha! ha!" 



384 NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 



" Bat then you think it beautiful, Mr. 



.1" 



"Tolerably so; but then I don't think it's well 
managed, this land about here. Now, there 's a fine 
valley down there ; why, there is as much as ten acres 
in that ere field, and scarcely a stone in it. Well, sir, 
plough that up, and manure it well, and plant it with 
onions, and you could raise, — let me see, — sixty hundred 
bushels ; and they would look so green and pleasant, all 
growing in such beautiful, long, straight rows; — there's 
nothing like it, sir. When they are ripe, you could take 
them right to Albany, and put them on board the boat, 
and send them to New York city, and get your cash; 
besides, they are excellent cut up in vinegar for salad, 
and I like them tiled to eat with roast beef. But fried 
onions, with pork, is the greatest onion dish. Did you 
ever eat any fixed in that way ? Luscious, sir, luscious ! 
They make my mouth water to think of them. I wish I 
kept the hotel, down there. I 'd have them every day." 

" They are rather fragrant," I remarked. 

" I know they are, but I like it; you can smell them 
a great ways; and I always feel, when I inhale their 
fragrance, as though the spirit of my home had come out 
to welcome me to dinner. I have a fine onion-field in 
front of my house, — it 's magnificent, sir. When I 
bought the place, I found six acres all in one piece, and 
precious little was raised on it ; and I ploughed it up and 
planted it with onions. And — would you believe it, sir?— 



NEW LEBANON.— THE SHAKERS. 835 

I raised last year forty-five hundred bushels of onions, 
which brought me, on the spot, twenty-two hundred and 
fifty dollars ! I have got a new field, this year, which 
-will yield me a thousand bushels more. That 's the way 
to farm, sir ; turn your land to some profit." 
" Don't you raise anything but onions ? " 
" 0, yes ! I sold forty bushels of grapes last year ; and 
I raise sweeyt potatoes and corn, — but chiefly onions.' ' 
" Will sweet potatoes grow in Massachusetts? " 
" Yes, but they are not very sweet. I raise a few for 
my own use, and a hundred bushels of the other kind ; 
but nothing pays like onions." 

This was utilitarian enough, in all conscience; and, 
although he had sadly interrupted my train of thought, 
and introduced one which, under the circumstances, could 
not have entered my mind, I did not care to continue the 
conversation ; *o I left him to his profound meditations. 
I wandered some distance before our breakfast-hour, but 
I could not bring back the feelings which I had before I 
received my lesson on the virtue, productiveness, and 
profit of onions. " And such," thought I, " are the 
emotions of some people when surrounded with those 
things which* are the most magnificent and beautiful." 
I met my pursy friend again at the breakfast-table, and I 
can bear ample testimony to the sharpness of his appetite. 
But, reader, having given you a taste of the ridiculous, I 



886 HSW LKBAH0S. — THE 8HAKKR8. 



will try and take the necessary step, and retain once 
more to the sublime; i£ perchance, I had reached that 
elevated position. 

Some mornings, when I rambled while yet the dawn 
was but just glimmering in the east, I was transported 
with the strange melody which the winds played upon 
the harp-strings of the mountains. A million trees, 
swept by the invisible fingers of the breeze, vibrated in 
unison, sending forth a continuous roar of rustling music. 
At other times the music, or the manner of performing 
it, was different 

On the hill-side a few trees shook and rustled, giving 
out notes few, but loud and distinct Then Jhe wanton 
winds leaped across the valley, and made music there, 
which was soon joined in by the trees in the valley 
below; then a grove in the distance would catch the 
strain, and would be answered by the trees on the top of 
the mountain. Anon, the hills, the valleys, and the 
mountains, all united in one grand chorus. It was like 
listening to a solo, then a duet, a trio, quartet, and 
finishing with an anthem, with full chorus. Down the 
sides of these mountains leaped many babbling streams, 
and, in their course, they had gulleyed out the hills, 
making deep ravines and beautiful glens. In these 
ravines were tall trees, showing that the torrent had 
done its work many years ago. I often lingered in 
these glens, where the light was so dim when without 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 837 

the world was blushing in sunlight I lingered and list- 
ened to the liquid notes of the leaping brooks, and queried 
how many years had passed away since they pushed out 
those large masses of gravel and slate-stone, forming the 
deep ravine, which should darken more and more as the 
trees sprang up, increasing in size and number. All 
these things were matter of interest and study to me. 
In the large city I sought for an alleviation of my sor- 
rows in vain. Here there were so many things of inter- 
est, instructive, beautiful, that, at times, I forgot my 
troubles and disappointments. Here I felt that I could 
commune with God, and worship Him in the beautiful 
temples which his hand had erected. 

There are 'a number of springs at New Lebanon, and 
their temperature is very different, ranging from warm to 
very cold. The coldest is but a few degrees above freez- 
ing, in the hottest days of summer ; while the warmest 
pours out water enough to keep the machinery of a small 
satinet factory moving the year round. And they are 
not troubled with ice anywhere about the mill, for the 
warm water from the spring keeps the stream clear from 
it. 

I have since been at New Lebanon in the month of 
December, when it was extremely cold, and the little 
pond of water below the warm spring was entirely clear 
from ice, and there was quite a steam arising from its 
surfiice. I half-fancied that it was old Nick's wash- 
29 



NEW LEBANON.— THE SHAKERS. 

kettle, and he had got his fire kindled under it ; and I 
expected soon to see it boil. I went and put my hands 
into it, and found a very agreeable contrast between 
the cold, frosty air and the warm water. 

While at New Lebanon, I frequently visited that 
strange class of people called Shakers. This was the 
first settlement formed in the country. Ann Lee, or 
Mother Ann, with a few devoted followers, pitched their 
tent here. She met with some persecution. In a two- 
story red house, about a mile from the Shaker village, 
she was tried for certain misdemeanors, and the Shakers 
say that she was dragged down stairs by the hair of her 
head. She then prophesied the time would come when 
there would be Shaker worship in that house. The 
prophecy proved true ; for, many years after her death, 
the house was offered for sale, and the Shakers bought it, 
and then they had a glorious time; for they danced, 
sung, exhorted and prayed, in every room in the build- 
ing, from the attic to the cellar. 

I was pleased with the neatness and taste everywhere 
displayed about their premises. Their buildings were all 
in good order, and every room like wax-work. The 
same care was taken of the out-buildings. Some of their 
barns were models for the saving of labor and strength. 
It did one good to go into them, they were so clean ; and 
then the cattle and horses were in such good condition. 
They did not look as though they were half-starved, over- 



i 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 889 

worked and shamefully whipped. Evidently the best 
care was taken of them ; and there are very many people 
who would do well to copy after the Shakers, and learn 
to treat with kindness all the creatures of God. 

The Shakers early adopted the community system, and 
it has succeeded well for them. Everything shows a 
reasonable degree of prosperity and success. Their fields 
are well cultivated, and all things seem to move on 
harmoniously ; and, from all that I saw of them, I con- 
ceived them to be an honest, sincere people. The idea 
which many entertain, that they are false to their profes- 
sion, I believe to be erroneous. To prevent the passions 
from being excited, or the awakening of carnal desires, 
the utmost precaution is observed. The dress of the 
sexes is so fashioned that the form loses its natural volup- 
tuous appearance; and this is designed that the pas- 
sions may not be excited. The dresses of the women are 
cut high in the neck and extend to their feet ; the waists 
are very short and slightly gathered, making the wearer 
look long, lean and lank, and, like some of Dickens' 
females, which he so graphically describes, all the way of 
a bigness. There is no probability of the Bloomer cos- 
tume being adopted by the Shakers. They would regard 
it as a device of the devil, and would look upon it with 
all the horror of the many very prudish old maids of both 
sexes. The Shaker women usually wear neck-cloths, which 
are closely buttoned up to the chin. They wear white 



840 NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 

caps upon their heads, fitting close and smoothly, and 
jutting out in front some two inches, concealing a side- 
view of the face. 

In the summer season, on Sundays, their dresses are 
white ; and, should they be seen in or near a grave-yard, 
with their lank faces, pale, sallow complexion, and 
sunken eyes, they would most likely be taken for a com- 
pany of dead folks, who had come out of their graves to 
take the air. 

The same caution is observed in the dress of the other 
sex. The fashion of either is anything but pleasing or 
beautiful. When nature arrays herself, we always 
observe that her garments are fashioned in the most pleas- 
ing and delightful manner. We are ever charmed with 
the simplicity and beauty which smile from every valley, 
and look down from every tree. In their season her 
robes are gorgeous, enriched with a thousand colors and 
beautiful tints. Her appearance is ever lovely, ever 
inviting. Nature's children love her so well, and believe 
her so wise and perfect, that they delight to copy after 
her. The Shakers, living in the continual violation of her 
laws in relation to the sexes, and the dearest and most 
holy social relations, must, of necessity, set her example 
at naught in the fashioning of their apparel. The sexes 
are not allowed to clasp each other by the hand, or 
exchange any of those little endearments and courtesies 
which are so natural and so pleasing. A man is never 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 841 

allowed to travel or be alone with one woman ; but he can 
travel with two, or two men may travel with one of the 
other sex. The women salute each other with holy kisses ; 
so also the men. On pleasant days, they hold meeting? 
on the tops of the mountains, and parties, miles apart, 
toss holy kisses at each other. Their worship consists in 
marching, dancing, whirling and singing. They will 
whirl for hours, and at last fall down in what they call a 
trance. In their jumpings they throw themselves into the 
most grotesque and surprising shapes. Whirling for a 
great length of time, and jumping, &c, only occur when 
they are filled with the spirit, and when they " get up 
the power." 

In the Shaker Godhead there is a quaternity, instead 
of a trinity, — four persons, instead of three. The first is 
the eternal Father, and the second Ann Lee, the eternal 
mother; the third the Son, and the fourth the Holy 
Ghost. All who have not had an opportunity to hear 
the Shaker gospel in this world will have it proclaimed to 
them in the next. Very many of the great men, kings, 
statesmen, orators, generals, &c, have heard the gospel 
since they died, and have become believers and leaders in 
the Shaker bands of the spirit-world. The patriarch 
Abraham is one of their first and best; so they sing, 

" Father is a leader ; 
Let us all be true, that 
29* 



842 NXW LEBANON. — THE SHAKSTRS. 

We may have a portion 

Of Mother's love and blessing." 

In singing they perform but one part, the air of 
the tune ; and, as many of the voices are not adapted to 
the air, and can only reach it with a great deal of effort, 
the effect is anything but pleasing. They have a sound- 
ing-board overhead, and I heard them sing some tunes 
which run very high ; and the noise was hideous, — more 
like screeching than singing. Their tunes and songs, in 
known and unknown tongues, are all given by inspiration. 
To do them justice, some of their music is excellent; and, 
as the Shakers sing it with great spirit, it sounds well, 
if the voices are not strained up to an unnatural pitch. 

The Shakers are all spiritualists, and they receive con- 
tinually light and instruction from the spirit-land. With 
the exception of Shakerism, they represent the immortal 
world very much the same as the spiritualists of to-day. 
Good and evil spirits are there ; and both classes visit 
this world, — the former for benevolent, and the latter for 
evil purposes. Mother Ann has her wine-press, and she 
sends wine to the most faithful Shakers, and they 
actually get drunk on the wine of the spiritual kingdom. 
According to some modern spiritualists, the spirits in the 
other world, or in another sphere, who love intoxicating 
drinks, gratify their appetites by entering the bodies of 
the intemperate here, or by inhaling the vapor of spirit; 



^ 



NEW LEBANON.— THE SHAKERS. 848 

and no lock and key can keep them out of wine-cellars, 
or any place they choose to enter ; so the Maine law will 
not save them, and legislators who are interested in the 
welfare of spiritualists should take the matter into consid- 
eration. 

There are only a portion of the Shakers who get drunk 
on Ann Lee's wine, And they are a class of persons such 
as may he found everywhere, who are naturally mesmeric 
subjects, who may be said to be in a negative state or 
condition, insteil of positive, and so they are easily 
affected, thrown into trances, bewitched, cured of scrofula 
by seventh sons, and formerly by kings and princes; 
they see ghosts, and visit the spirit- world ; they are 
quickly excited and alarmed ; and men of powerful minds, 
who are zealous, can excite them to despair, and sway 
them to and fro, as they please. Meats, cakes and many 
other things, are sent from the spirit world to the Shak- 
ers; and a highly-gifted one, called a Visionist, will 
take them and pass them round to such as are gifted 
sufficiently to receive them. The pantomime which fol- 
lows is most absurd and ridiculous ; for they go through all 
the motions of receiving food, and eating and drinking. 
The really gifted are, in truth, the negative or mesmeric. 
The spirits of all nations, times, states and conditions, 
visit the Shakers; and, for some reason, — and what it is 
I know not, — it becomes a duty to take in these wan- 
dering spirits. Each Shaker will receive a spirit into his 



344 NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 

body, and then he is under the control of the spirit lie 
has received, and will act as it directs, or as it was in 
the habit of doing in this world. The effect is ludicrora 
in the extreme. 

The treatment of dumb animals by the Shakers, their 
order and neatness, is well worthy of attention and imi- 
tation. Strict abstinence from all sexual pleasures is 
the main idea of their religion. They are the only 
people of God ; for they live free from the " lusts of the 
flesh^ They have " put off the old mtfe which is cor- 
rupt according to the deceitful lusts" and have " put 
on the new man which after God is created in righteous- 
ness and true holiness." They are the " hundred and 
forty-four thousand" who are to follow the Lamb, spoken 
of in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. 

A number of times I was present, and witnessed their 
manner of worship. The room in which they held their 
meetings, was perfectly neat ; the floor white, and it had 
been scrubbed till it shone. On one side of the room 
were seats for visitors, those out of the gospel. The seats 
for the Shakers were light, movable benches ; and when 
they da.nced or marched, the benches were moved back. 
When the male Shakers entered their place of worship, 
they all took off their coats, and hung them up on wooden 
pegs; so there were a hundred coats, all made alike, 
hung on a hundred pegs, exactly even, and at just such 
a distance from each other. The Shaker women all had 



i 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 845 

neat white folded handkerchiefs in their hands, and they 
held them precisely alike. Part of the room was occu- 
pied by the men, and part by the women, there being 
about three feet between them. They stood in ranks, 
the men and women face to face. The tallest Shakers 
were in the centre ranks, the next tallest in the next 
rank, and so on to the last. 

Their exercises, dances, songs and exhortations, vary 
from Sabbath to Sabbath. Sometimes they sit down on 
the portable benches, and sit perfectly still; and then 
arise, and, without noise or confusion, move back the 
benches, resume their places, and as soon as the singers 
(some six or eight of the brothers and sisters, who stand 
apart by themselves) strike up a tune or song, they 
commence a march or dance. The palms of their hands 
are held towards their faces, and as they dance or march 
they swing them up and down in perfect time. Their 
steps in dancing are very simple ; not light and graceful, 
but the motion might be considered springy walking. 
They would move towards the centre, and then back, 
singing, 

" Joyfully we will advance, 
And in his praises sing and dance ; 
On the sea of glass we stand, 
With harps of glory in our hand." 

This was continued some time, and when they stopped 
one of the elders made a speech, or gave an exhortation. 



846 NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 

After this they had a march, and then a lively dance, 
with a shuffle. The words sung were, as well as I can 
rememher, the following : 

, "I love to dance, I love to sing, 
I love to be a Shaker-; 
I never knew the grace of God,, 
Until I was a Shaker," etc. etc. 

When they had danced until they were weary, another 
elder made a speech, in which he said that Christ re- 
quired the people to become like little children ; and he 
thought the Shakers were Christ's disciples, because they 
walked about with the carelessness of little children, 
instead of being stiff and nicely dressed, and preaching 
from elegant pulpits. The elder spoke of " starched, 
stiff ed-up pulpits" but I presume he meant elegant. 
" Such ministers and people," said he, " are carnal, 
and not spiritual ; they are in a state of natur, but we 
are like little children, and have entered the kingdom; 
and let us, like them, march on our heavenly way. 

They then commenced a circular march, moving in 
a manner which would show, in their apprehension, that 
they were really and truly the little children of the 
kingdom. Their bodies were inclined forward, their arms 
at right angles, and as they went swinging, teetering 
and springing along, you would have supposed that their 
joints were all nicely connected with patent elastic 
springs, so that they could bob up and down without the 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKEHg. 847 

least inconvenience. All the time they were swinging 
their hands, as though they were very warm, and were 
bound to keep the air in motion. At times I was 
strongly inclined to laugh, . the whole thing seemed so 
much like a solemn burlesque ; but the sharp eyes of 
some of the sisters were placed upon me in solemn re- 
buke, and I endeavored to keep my countenance, and 
observe due decorum. 

Old Antichrist frequently troubles the Shakers, and 
-when he seriously interrupts their spiritual communion 
and worship, they take measures to drive him off; they 
will all shake and stamp in the most violent and ridicu- 
lous manner, the whole family uniting, old and young. 
The visionist perceives when he is fairly shaken off and 
conquered ; and then the following song is sung and 
danced with great animation : 

" Come life, —. Shaker life ! 

Come life eternal ! 
Shake, shake out of me 

AU that is carnal. 
I '11 take nimble steps, 

I »11 be a David, 
I '11 show Michael twice 

How he behaved." 

Here is a specimen of an unknown tongue, which is 
sung as a chorus to some of their songs : 



848 HEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKEBS. 

" Vi a lo vi al le, 
Vi al le a lando, 
Vi al lo vi al le 
Vi al le a lando." 

While this is being sung, they dance what they call 
the round dance. They run in a measured step, and 
suddenly stop, and face about and shuffle. This is con- 
tinued as long as the singers have the gift ; or, in other 
words, until they are weary. 

I could relate many other interesting and absurd 
things of the Shakers, such as the jerks, dumb devils, 
mortification gifts, the visits of the devil, the calling 
in of good spirits, etc. ; but perchance the reader will 
scarcely pardon the digression I have already made. 
Part of these things I saw, and part I learned from a 
man who had lived with the Shakers from a child until 
he was twenty-five. At that age he left them, but still 
remained at Lebanon. 

On the first of November I bade farewell to my new 
acquaintances, and returned to New York city. I did 
not so much regret leaving New Lebanon Springs as I 
might have done at some other season of the year. The 
frost king had been there, and despoiled the forests of 
their glory and beauty, and laid the loveliest things low 
in the dust The heavy winds went sweeping over the 
mountains, tearing every leaf from branches which had 
been clothed in such sweet comeliness; and the trees 



NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 849 

trembled and shook in the frosty blast, as though they 
stood in great fear of the increasing cold, stripped of 
their coats of beautiful green ; and they sent forth on the 
wings of the rushing tempest a mighty wail over their 
desolation. I had no heart in this ; for it seemed to me 
that my inner life had come out and daguerreotyped 
itself upon nature, changing its sweet face, and leaving 
it in grief and ruin ; so I left all those once enchanting 
scenes in their desolation, and went to Hudson, where I 
took the boat and sailed down the North river, landing 
once more in the great city. 

Ernest and Irene were married at the time appointed 
and, agreeably to their wishes, but not according to their 
expectations, Ernest was immediately offered a partner- 
ship with Mr. Dinneford, which he thankfully accepted. 
He rented, soon after, a neat and commodious house, 
and took his mother home to live with him. With little 
inclination to return home, I spent the winter in visiting 
different cities, staying a few weeks in each. I went to 
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. At the latter 
place I remained two months, occupying my time in 
listening to the debates in Congress, visiting places of 
interest and amusement, and making new and agreeable 
acquaintances. In April I returned to New York, where 
I remained until May, boarding with Mr. Brown. At 
his house I found a pleasant home; but I could not enjoy 
it, for there was a continual yearning in my soul for 
30 



850 NEW LEBANON. — THE SHAKERS. 

something purer and holier than I had yet tasted, — for 
mutual, faithful love. Travel, excitement, amusements, 
books, interesting scenery and friends, would not satisfy 
the cravings of my nature ; I must have something more. 
I must love and be loved, or seek for happiness in vain. 
Sometimes I half envied Ernest, and blamed myself for 
having given up Irene. She was such a pattern of a 
wife that to dwell in her family for a brief space would 
make any bachelor discontented with his state of single 
wretchedness. Mr. Dinneford expressed himself well 
pleased with Ernest ; nevertheless, he said that it was a 
severe disappointment at the time, for he had set his 
heart upon having me for a son-in-law, and a partner in 
business. Ernest and Irene often rallied me on my 
dejected appearance, but I kept the cause thereof to 
myself. That they surmised it I half suspected. 

I was so well pleased with the scenery at Lebanon, 
in the autumn, that I resolved to return in the spring. 
May I regarded as a fitting season. When I sailed 
up the Hudson the trees were in blossom, and the 
young leaves were richly enrobing the branches, where 
gay birds poured' forth gushes of song and glad melody, 
which made the woods and fields and glens to ring and 
rejoice with music. When I arrived at the Springs the 
season was more backward. But the fields were green, 
and the buds, on a million naked trees, were just ready 
to open, and clothe them all in robes of virgin purity and 



NEW LEBANON.— THE 6HAKEBS. 351 

beauty. But what availed all this beautiful scenery? 
It did not fill up that aching void. I was as restless as 
Noah's dove, when she swept over the vast expanse of 
waters, but could find no rest I had received letters 
from home, urging me to cease my wanderings and . 
return to those who would give me a fond welcome. I 
resolved to go. 

On the twentieth of May I left Lebanon, and travelled 
to Boston, by the way of Pittsfield, finding much to 
interest me in old Berkshire, the roughest and healthiest 
county in the Bay State. In Berkshire the soenery is 
wild and grand. It was interesting and awe-inspiring to 
gaze upon those old mountains, which have stood from 
century to century, resting their heads against the sky, 
and washing their wild locks in the waters of the storm 
and thunder-cloud. The air was bracing and strengthen- 
ing. Sweeping down, pure and fresh, from the jagged 
hills and mountains, it was very refreshing and reviving 
to one who had spent months in cities. 

At home I received a most cordial welcome. Mrs. 
Stewart actually wept for joy. Contrary to my expect- 
ations, I there found Helen Means. She was on a visit 
to Mrs. Stewart, which was to extend to a number of 
weeks. I was too happy to see her again to feign cold- 
ness; and, had I wished it, I should have found it a 
difficult task. I could not doubt that she was truly glad 
to see me, for it was evident that Bhe found it difficult to 



852 NEW LEBANON.— THE SHAKEBS. 

refrain from weeping. Laboring on the farm, and with 
her society, and that of my brothers and sisters, and 
Mrs. Stewart's motherly care, my time passed very 
agreeably. A few weeks spent in the company of 
•Helen convinced me, more and more, how utterly im- 
possible it was to expect happiness in this world unless 
she became my wife. I might endure life while she re- 
mained single — but if she should marry another ! — the 
very thought was madness. But what had I to hope? 
She had twice refused me, and I had pledged myself not 
to urge my suit again ; and yet I could not for a moment 
forego the idea that I should yet win the priceless jewel. 
While Helen remained I was measurably contented, 
but as soon as she was gone I found life a burden. In 
vain I cultivated the acquaintance of the young ladies is 
the neighborhood ; in vain I sought relief in interesting 
books, — in procuring the newest and most fashionable 
novels, — all would not do. Previous to Helen's de- 
parture, she asked me if the year was not almost gone, 
and invited me to visit them very soon. I resolved that 
I would do so as soon as we should have finished haying. 
I might have gone before, but my pride held me back. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

During my absence, Deacon Webber had grown so 
ugly and miserly that even his own children, such per- 
fect chips of the old block, could not live with him.* He 
now occupied his house alone. I met him, one day, on 
my way to the village, and I was surprised to see the 
change which one year had wrought. His form was 
bent, and his clothes ragged and filthy. He had not cut 
his gray, stiff beard for months. With his malignant 
eyes, hollow cheeks, wrinkled forehead, swarthy skin, 
and long, gray beard, half covering his thin, dry lips, his 
uncombed hair, and the filth and dirt which clung to his 
ragged garments, hands and face, he was a horrible 
sight to look upon. Though his appearance was dis- 
gusting in the extreme, I could but pity the poor wretch. 
As much as I had hated him, as much as I now de- 
spised him, he had fallen so low that I did not wish to 
harm a hair of his head. He had. become a general 
object of loathing, and I woufd sooner have done him a 
kindness than to have inflicted an injury. 
30* 



354 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF, 

He recognized me, and a fiend could not have gathered 
more of hatred and malignity in his countenance. His 
brow darkened, his eyes gleamed with the fiercest fires 
of brutal revenge, and his lips seemed ready to spit oat 
venom and spite. Unmoved, except with disgust, I 
passed by him ; but I could hear him grind his teeth and 
growl for some time after I had left him. He looked as 
though he would be glad to spring upon me, and, like a 
wild beast, tear me limb from limb. And this was the 
pious, praying deacon; the " burning and shining light." 
This was the man who had so often doomed his fellow- 
creatures to inconceivable torments; and now what a 
doom was his ! All the time he was professing godliness 
he was a pharisaical hypocrite, and it had given him the 
heart of a devil ; and he who has such a heart is in the 
lowest hell, whether in this world or another. 

The deacon's whole object now was to accumulate 
property. Gold was his god, and all his vows were paid 
at its altar. He lent money, took mortgages of lands 
and buildings, and, as his creditors often failed to redeem 
them, his property rapidly increased. He sold for ready 
money nearly every article of household furniture, beds, 
and bedding, and then lived more like a brute than a 
man. He afterwards rented the house, all but one room. 
His children continued to show him the respect which is 
due from a child to a parent, not from love, but that 
they might inherit his fortune. A number of excuses 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 855 

were given for leaving him, but the true one was kept 
out of sight. 

In September I again visited my uncle. I was re- 
ceived with that familiarity and kindness which parents 
bestow upon children. They had always treated me like 
a child. The only reception which seemed at all cold 
was from my uncle, on my first return from New York. 
Some days then passed away before I could feel as easy 
in his company as formerly. There was no change in 
my aunt ; and now she expressed much anxiety in re- 
lation to my health, and begged me to stay and let her 
doctor me, until I should get rid of that pale, languid 
look, and bring back the color and' sprightliness which I 
once possessed. I required but little urging to comply, 
for I could dwell in the presence of one whose attractive 
loveliness increased with every hour. To be near her 
was now my greatest happiness. By her side I could sit 
for hours, though not one word was spoken. To catch 
one glance of her beautiful eyes, or feel the touch of her 
hand, which thrilled my whole being, was a pleasure 
which I sought elsewhere in vain. So intense and all- 
absorbing was my love, that I could have died for her ; 
but to live without her was worse than dying. 

In spite of my aunt's motherly care and nursing, my 
health, instead of improving, was every day growing 
more precarious. In vain she prepared me strengthening 
syrups, and labored with a mother's care and anxiety to 



856 HELEN MEANS AND MYSSIiF. 

bring back my lost health and spirits. In the presence 
of Helen there were moments of intense happiness ; but 
every moment only made me so much the more anxious 
to press her to my heart, and hear her whisper the dear 
words, "I am thine ! " She engaged all my thoughts, 
all my wishes, and all my hopes ; and yet I was debarred 
the privilege of asking her to crown my long and ardent 
devotion with her love. I knew not what to do, and 
sometimes indulged in bitter thoughts against her who 
was dearer to me than my own life. Helen seemed to 
grow restless and uneasy, and I often caught her eyes 
fixed earnestly upon me. But those eyes had "before 
deceived me, or I was unable to read their language ; 
and how could I hope to understand them now? My 
uncle, too, often regarded me with an inquiring and 
troubled look. 

After two or three weeks of miserable doubt and sus- 
pense, the most bitter thoughts began to rankle in my 
heart, and the result was that Helen's society, in a 
measure, lost its charm. She noticed it, and, as I 
thought, tried to throw around me a witchery that I 
could not resist. I thought she must be a coquette, and 
kept aloof from her as much as possible. When in her 
society, I was moody and silent. I resolved to return 
home. I named the day, but, in accordance with my 
uncle's wishes, postponed the time one week; but I 
resolved that Helen should not profit by it, for I would 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 357 

absent myself from her as much as I could conveniently, 
and when with her talk as little as possible. The con- 
sequences were that I was all repulsion, and she all 
attraction. An almost irresistible charm hung around 
her, and it was with extreme difficulty that I could over- 
come its power. She sometimes seemed as though she 
would be glad to open her heart, and tell me all its 
desires and hopes ; but I repelled her with all the strength 
I could muster. " Surely," thought I, " she is a com- 
plete coquette." I often reflected upon the utter impos- 
sibility of Helen Means being a coquette ; but how else 
could I account for her present conduct? 

My last week of probation had nearly expired. In 
two days more I should return home, and remain until 
the marriage of Thomas and Lizzie, which would take 
place the next month ; and then I would go I knew not 
and cared not whither. To get away from myself would 
be my greatest desire. 0, it is a sad thing for the 
young heart to be so overburdened that it would gladly 
escape from its own thoughts, and forget its own identity ! 
Many a one flies from home, friends, and from all that 's 
dear, — from every object loved, around which memory 
clings, — as the startled fawn flies from the hunter and 
the hound. He goes out into the great wilderness-world, 
not to find joy, peace or happiness, but that he may 
leave the pangs of disappointment and broken hopes far, 
far behind, or drown them in excitement, and charm 



858 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

them away with new scenes and new faces. I r too, 
would go, and long years should pass away ere I again 
returned. The image of her I loved so well I would 
tear from my heart, and tread it under my feet The 
blissful hours and blessed moments which had so cheered 
us in the bright past, and which now filled memory's 
halls with beautiful forms and diviner shapes, should, 
every one of them, hasten away; and I would crowd 
them with delights drawn from new scenes and new 
hopes. 

Day had once more said good-night to the world, and 
the evening shadows again marshalled their dusky troops 
to cover the earth with darkness. Twilight lingered 
long, as if unwilling to turn away its rosy face from such 
an enchanting scene. It was glorious; for a gorgeous 
autumnal sunset had poured upon the world a billowy 
flood of golden smiles. The. great king of light went 
down encircled with glory, — ad goes the good man to his 
rest, when his work on earth is done, — and the lingering 
red of the western sky faded into the clear blue. And 
now the harvest moon, the lovely queen of night, rode 
proudly on high, making the white clouds her chariot, 
and decking it with stars. As she swept through the 
skies, she marshalled her armies of light and beauty, and 
sent them forth on their nightly errand of love and peace 
to every child of humanity who will but look up and 
drink in their smiles, and open his ears to the music of 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 859 

the heavenly hosts ! 0, how magnificent were the 
clouds, sailing through the heavens with the grace and 
majesty of mighty worlds ! Some were red, rosy and 
white, and others were blue and orange, and some seemed 
to catch all the hues of the rainbow, blending them in 
most wondrous beauty. 

But, although the evening was so delightful and soul- 
inspiring, I was in no mood to enjoy it. I could not 
close my eyes to its glories, nor entirely shut out its 
hallowing influences from my heart; neither could I 
enter into the fulness of its delights. I was shut out, for 
a time, from the innermost of nature's sanctuary, — from 
the holy of holies. I love nature at all seasons ; and my 
way has never yet been so utterly dark but that her 
light could scatter some of the shadows. There have 
been times when I have turned away from the faces of 
men, but never from the benignant face of God, smiling 
from his works. 

When twilight had entirely disappeared, and night 
once more reigned over the earth, and the tall trees 
had daguerreotyped themselves upon the ground which 
they overshadowed, and were looking down with pride 
at their forms of beauty, as they reposed in the 
moonlight, sad and unquiet at heart, and so unfitted 
for such scenes of beauty, I took a candle and book, 
and retired to the parlor, to read. After seeking, in 
vain, to fix my mind upon the subject of the writer, I 



S60 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

laid it down, and leaned my head upon my hand, and 
gave loose rein to my burdened thoughts. While thus 
employed, a light step approached me. I knew that it 
was Helen, but I did not Eft my head. She came near 
me, and laid her hand upon my shoulder, and said, 

" This is a beautiful evening, Henri ! " 

" It is well enough," I replied. 

"Is that all?" 

" As much more as you please." 

She paused a moment, and then said, 

" Is it right to spend such an evening alone, when 
your friends desire your company ? " 

" That depends upon circumstances. But I have not 
been alone ; would to heaven I had ! " 

" Who were your companions, then ? " 

" My own thoughts." 

" They should be pleasant, as you prefer their company 
to any other." 

" There you mistake, for I am weary of them; they 
make me ever so wretched." 

" Why harbor them, then ? " 

" For a very simple reason ; I cannot help it." 

" May I know what they are 1 " 

" No ! " 

"Why not, Henri?" 

" Because I cannot tell you; and if I could, I would 
not ! " 



HELBN MEANS AND MYSELF. 861 

She seemed a little disconcerted, and walked to the 
window a moment, and then returned to my side again, 
saying, 

" It is very beautiful to-night; — will not the morning 
be pleasant?" 

" Most likely." 

" We used to ramble, once, at early dawn. Will you 
walk with me in the morning ? " 

" I am not very anxious for a walk myself; but, if you 
particularly desire my company, I will attend you." 

When I uttered these words,, she sighed deeply ; and 
I looked up, for the first time since she came into the 
room. She was gazing at me, and a sad expression rested 
upon her countenance. 

" Shall I play and sing to you ? " she inquired. 

"If you wish." 

" Not without you desire it." 

" I 'm fond of music, you know." 

" But not when I make it." 

" That's your own inference." 

" 0, Henri ! " 

" Say on." 

She now raised her hand and brushed away a bright 
tear, lingered a moment, seemingly making an effort to 
speak ; she then arose and opened the piano, swept her 
fingers across the keys, and played a beautiful but 
simple air, that she had often sung to me when a child. 
31 



862 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

She then song, in touching and thrilling tones, the fol- 
lowing words : 

The heart is cold that 's dear to me, 

The heart I yearn to call my own ; 
For when I touch the magic key, 

It gives not back an answering tone. 

It turns away from true love's shrine, 

While I in sorrow linger there, 
And long to whisper " Make me thine," 

But fear to breathe the heartfelt prayer. 

How well I love the bending skies, 
The dimpled waves of golden light, 

And all the glad and starry eyes 
That pierce the sombre veil of night ! 

The hills and dales with verdure clad, 
The brooklets leaping through the dell, 

The birds with notes so full and glad, 
Or soft as evening's vesper-bell ! 

The leafy trees, that charm the eye 
With worlds of gems at early dawn, 

As though they 'd lift them to the sky, » 

To glitter when the night comes on ! 

The rivers winding to the sea, 
The flowers that blush o'er all the plain, 

The zephyrs whispering lovingly, 
To cool the throbbing brow of pain ! 



HBLBN MEANS AND MYSELF. 363 

Nature is eyer bright and fair ; 

And, though I love her passing well, 
Yet in my heart are lines of care, 

And yearnings that I may not tell. 

0, what is all the world to me 
Without the heart that should be mine ? 

But one fond look, then trustingly 
I '11 lay my trembling hand in thine ! 

A few lines were sufficient to call my attention to the 
thoughts of the singer, and to draw me to her side. 
When she had finished, .she turned her head, and fixed 
those soul-speaking eyes, with all their light and love, 
full upon me. For a moment I was charmed and enrap- 
tured, — full of great hope, — and then a shadowy cloud 
came and stood between me and the object of my adora- 
tion, shutting off the light of those truthful eyes, which 
I so much needed to revive and strengthen my fainting 
heart. I thought of the moments in the past, when I 
had been so intoxicated with that thrilling and melting 
glance, that I had almost worshipped the source from 
whence it sprung. Twice had it caused me to declare 
my love, and earnestly seek a return of my most devoted 
affection, and each time I had been firmly rejected. I 
again thought she must be a coquette. In my mind I 
compared her to the serpent that charms but to destroy. 

When these feelings had taken strong possession of 
my heart, I left her side, and seated myself upon the 



864 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

sofa in moody silence. She seemed irresolute for a 
moment; then she arose and came and stood near me, 
and said, while a sweet, sad smile played around her 
eyes, 

" You think ill of me, Henri ! " 

" Helen," I replied, " I despise an untruth ; and, if I 
did not, it would be in vain to deny what you allege, for 
actions speak louder than words." 

" Very true; for, had you denied it, I should have 
doubted even your ward. Now, Henri, you have one 
duty to perform, which must not .be longer delayed ; you 
must give me your reasons for this." 

"Is that my duty?" 

"Do you doubt it?" 

"I have not given it sufficient thought to be able to 
tell." 

" It does not require thought ; a moment's reflection 
is sufficient. Think of the happy hours of the past, — 
the relations which have existed between us, and which 
should exist now; — of what the future may have in 
store for us, and then answer to your own conscience if 
you should not tell me all ! " 

" I will tell you, Helen, since you so much desire it 
You remember that twice have I offered you my heart 
and hand, believing, each time, that you would answer 
me favorably. When you last rejected me I desired you 
to take time to consider, telling you that I never should 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 365 

make yon another offer. You wished for no time, but 
decided at once. That I love yon deeply, devotedly, you 
do not doubt. That I ought to break the cords that bind 
me in hopeless love, is equally certain. And, though 
I cannot sever a single shred, nor drive for a moment 
from my breast the passionate love that is wearing me to 
the grave, you still keep up that^witching spell that first 
charmed me into love, and which draws the cords still 
closer around my heart ! " 

" If I do as you say, do you regard it as done inten- 
tionally?" 

" I cannot doubt it ! " 

" And what is your inference ? " 

" That you are a coquette ! " 

" You shall know me better ! " ■ 

" I would gladly do so ! " 

" You have been very plain with me, Henri, and I 
will be equally plain with you. Although you have re- 
garded me as a coquette, still you have ever been very dear 
to me ! I have but few friends, and those I love most 
dearly ; but you I love more than them all ! You have 
thought that I could wantonly trifle with your holiest 
affections ! Do you think that I would knowingly injure 
your kind uncle and aunt, who have been more than 
parents to me ; or the good, dear Mrs: Stewart, who has 
ever been like a mother ? How, then, could I wantonly 
injure you, when I love you more than they ? " 
31* 



866 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

" Then I have judged you wrongly ! " 

" And you shall have still stronger proofs. As I have 

twice rejected you, you may now reject me ; but, if ever 

I am' led to the altar, your hand alone shall lead me ! 

If ever I give my heart and hand to another, you alone 

, shall receive them ! " 

" 0, Helen ! " I replied to these enrapturing words, 
" can you mean all this ? " 

" Must I repeat it again, in order to convince your 
unbelieving heart ? " 

" I am satisfied, dearest ! " I answered, folding her to 
my breast. There was no shrinking' away now, — no 
half-suppressed desire to tear herself from my arms. 
That long and passionate embrace was mutual, looking 
love from eyes humid with their burden of too intense 
happiness, and breathing out deep sighs, — for spoken 
words would have been but a mockery, — and uttering 
the heart's own language in burning kisses. I cannot 
describe the thrilling rapture of that moment ! Worlds 
of joy seemed to come pouring into our hearts, making 
them like heaven in the intensity of their bliss ! But I 
must stop here, for words are poor things when used to 
describe the mightier emotions of the heart, whether they 
be of joy or sorrow. Perchance the reader will say that 
I should have dratfn the veil of silence over this scene, 
rather than have exposed it to the gaze of those who can- 
not appreciate it. 



HELEN MEANS AND MtSUtF. 367 

Not many minutes had passed away, before I wad 
thinking of what might be the real import of the words 
she had uttered, even while I held her heart beating 
against my own. But other thoughts, beautiful as morn- 
ing, sweet as the breath of June, and brightly tinted as 
a rainbow, were stirring the long pent-up emotions of my 
heart ; and then was no time to talk or seek explanations. 
Lovers are never in the possession of such heart-full hap- 
piness as when they find no use for words, and their 
utterance would be like harsh discord in the midst of 
sweet harmony. She was the first to speak. 

" You would know more, Henri ? " she said. 

"You have read my thoughts," I replied. "You 
said that, if ever you gave your heart and hand to 
another, I alone should receive them. Did you mean 
they should be mine whenever I chose to claim them ? " 

"Yes, dearest, they are yours now and evermore.' ' 

" Then I am satisfied, and will query no more." 

" Nay, but you should query more and now ; for we 
should understand each other, that there may be nothing 
to mar the happiness of the future." 

"You must explain, for I know not to what you 
refer." 

" Is there nothing in the past that is dark or mys- 
terious? Are there no problems you would have 
solved?" 

Quickly now came rushing upon me the thought of her 



868 ' HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

twice refusing me, — of her intimation that she did not 
love me ; and I felt that an explanation was needed. 

"Yes, there are, Helen ; and it is well, as you say, that 
they should be solved now. Tell me 'why you twice 
rejected me, and if yoi* really meant that you did not 
love me." 

" Do you think that I would be guilty of deception ? " 

" No, and that is what puzzles me." 

" I have thought that, if ever I was guilty of falsehood 
and deception in my life, it was when I gave you the 
impression that I did not love you. But you shall be my 
judge. Can we truly say that we love, unless we have 
perfect confidence in the objects of our affection ? Is it 
love, in its highest and holiest sense, if we are sometimes 
fearful that they will not always be true to us ? " 

" Under such circumstances, we could not love with 
that perfect love such as you or I should require." 

" Then I had not perfect love for you ; for I lacked 
confidence in the strength of your attachment." 

" And I alone was to blame for that." 

" 1 am glad to hear you say it ; for it is the truth. 
When I learned of your engagement to another, I could 
hardly believe your own words; for I had Telt that our 
destinies were so linked and intertwined that they could 
not be separated. You had never breathed of love, but 
still I hoped that we understood each other. I well 
knew that I could never love another as I had loved you, 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 369 

and I determined never to marry. I -had been very 
happy, ever since I was blessed, through your instrument- 
ality, with my present peaceful home. The loss of your 
dear society I deeply regretted ; but I had hoped that our 
separation might be short. I cannot tell the anguish 
which your engagement caused me, and I would not 
dwell upon it now. A load of misery was removed from 
my heart when that engagement terminated. But soon 
came the thought that your attachments were weak, and 
would not last. I could not trust you, as I had before ; 
and I felt that I did not truly love." 

" That is all natural enough ; but I think the test was 
too severe, as I had given up Irene entirely for you." 

" You have not yet learned all, and I shall impart to 
you the information only on one condition," 

" I trust it is not hard." 

"Very simple. You shall promise a foil pardon to 
all concerned." 

" That is easily done. To-night I could pardon, with 
all my heart, the bitterest enemy I have in the world." 

" You promise, then ? " 

"I do." 

" I will be brief as I can. Your uncle, I think, 
regretted your engagement with Miss Dinneford nearly 
as much as I. He was, as he told me afterwards, sadly 
disappointed. He had fondly hoped to see us united in 
holy wedlock. When he learned that you were no longer 



370 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

betrothed to Miss Dinneford, be said that you were so 
changeable and fickle that you could not be trusted. He 
should not be surprised if I received an offer of marriage 
from you ; but, knowing that I had already suffered bit- 
terly, and as he loved me as well as though I was his 
own child, he wished me to give you no encouragement 
until there had been sufficient time to test the strength of 
your attachments. As he had ever been so kind to me.— 
more than a father to the poor outcast, — as I knew his 
heart was brimming with kindness and his head filled with 
wisdom, I desired to be guided by his wishes, — to make 
them, so far as consistent, my law. I promised him not 
to give you a favorable answer until I had his permission, 
unless I thought it a solemn duty to act otherwise. It was 
not so difficult a matter to make this promise ; for I was 
as sceptical as he. A few days since, your uncle released 
me from my bond." 

"The old Shylock ! He must have his c pound of 
flesh!'" 

" I think he has held on too long ; but he meant well." 

" But there was an if Why did you not take advan- 
tage of it ? I am almost vexed with you, Helen, that you 
did not do so long ago ; for I gave you every reason to 
trust me." 

11 Don't say vexed, Henri. I have been satisfied since 
your return ; but I was not before. I was fearful that, 
if easily won, I might be easily cast aside. And your 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 871 

earnestness, after I had refused you, did not change the 
matter at all ; for I knew that your nature could not 
brook a defeat, and that it would not, if it were possible 
to prevent it. Opposition to your wishes, I well knew, 
would only stimulate you to greater exertions." 

" 0, you little sceptic ! I would not have thought it" 

cs Well, you will learn all about me, by and by." 

" I hope so j and when you know me better, there will 
be no more doubts. But how much longer should you 
have held on to that odious promise? I should have 
thought you would have felt it your duty to have broken 
it, when I met you at my home." 

" I was placed in a delicate position, for I must be 
the suitor, and not you ; and, besides, I wished your 
good uncle's full approval, But, if he had continued 
stubborn another, week, I should have felt it my duty to 
make known to you that your love was returned, and I 
would have done so." 

" I believe, yea, I know, that uncle has a kind heart, 
and that his intentions were good ; so I will cheerfully 
forgive him. But, like many other well-meaning but 
mistaken people, he has caused much needless suffering." 

" You spoke of doubts departing when I knew you 
better; they are all gone now, never to return." 

" Bless you for those cheering words, and may Heaven 
grant that I may be ever worthy of your confidence and 
love ! " 



872 HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 

" If we are but faithful to the inner light, heayen's 
choicest blessings will be ours." 

"With your love, dearest, to shield me when the 
tempter comes, I believe that I can conquer, and nearly 
all the time be very good." 

"We may strengthen each other, I doubt not." 

"And so be brave and happy. O, Helen! I never 
can be too thankful that heaven has blessed me with your 
dear love." 

" And our mutual constancy, peace and joy, will best 
manifest our gratitude ! " 

" Then I trust that we may offer up a perpetual sacri- 
fice. But, tell me why you were so decided in your 
refusals. You acted as though it was a matter of per- 
fect indifference to you." 

" The reason is evident. If I had not been decided, I 
could not have been faithful to my promise." 

"I am satisfied, Helen. I understand it all. The 
enigmas are all solved ; and perhaps it is well that we 
have been subjected to this trial, — at least, I will try and 
think 00. My present happiness is abundantly sufficient 
to compensate for what I have lost in the past The 
future, I know, will be joyous as heaven." 

"A perpetual spring-time, a life-long summer of the 
heart ! " 

"And, though we are sometimes visited with afflic- 



HELEN MEANS AND MYSELF. 873 

tions, that make sad for a season, may they be like 'dark- 
eyed autumn,' beautiful even in its sadness ! " 

" Bless you for the thought ! We must all experience 
some sorrows, and meet with some disappointments. But 
the faithful need not fear them, for they shall only make 
them stronger." 

" I would that I were as strong as you are, — as free 
from evil thoughts and evil passions ! " 

" Nay, I am weak, as well as you ; but in God shall 

be our trust ! " 

32 



CHAPTER XXVI . 

WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

The next morning, my uncle, with mock gravity, con- 
gratulated me upon my improved appearance ; then 
turned to Helen, and told her she should have known 
better than to keep me up so late, for it was a well- 
established fact that invalids required more rest and 
sleep than persons who were free from disease. He 
hoped she would remember this in the future. My aunt, 
the good soul, laughed, and said, " No matter about 
established facts ; — if a course of treatment produces good 
results, and restores the patient, that is enough." 

A conversation of a more serious nature succeeded this 
pleasant raillery. Uncle and aunt proposed that when 
we were married we should live with them ; and they 
would make over the farm to us, to be ours at their 
decease. I objected, on account of Mrs. Stewart ; but 
they said the .house was large enough for .all, and 
that Mrs. Stewart should be welcome whenever she 
wished to change her home. We made a conditional 
agreement, which might have been carried into effect, had 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 375 

not an event happened which caused us to entirely change 
our plan. 

At the, appointed time, Thomas and Lizzie were mar- 
ried. They immediately left for their future home. 
Thomas and Mr. Harvey, the husband of Lizzie, a 
brother to Thomas' wife, had purchased a paper-mill of 
Mr. Harvey's father ; and they had formed a partnership 
with a Mr. Vinton, also a brother-in-law, for the pur- 
pose of manufacturing paper. As I had 'determined to 
turn my attention to farming, it was the desire of Thomas 
and the rest of the family that I should retain the home- 
stead. Mrs. Stewart seemed anxious that. I should do 
so. On the other hand, Helen was desirous that I 
should comply with uncle's request, though she was wil- 
ling to do as I thought best. I was halting between two 
opinions, when an unexpected development caused me to 
decide. 

We were married, at my uncle's, in the following Novem- 
ber. A large number of friends came to celebrate the happy 
event, and to bless us with their smiles and good wishes. 
Among the rest were Ernest and Irene Brown ; or, as 
she wrote her name, Irene Dinneford Brown. They 
' performed the parts of bridegroom and bridesmaid, as 
I had promised Ernest when he little suspected my 
meaning. 

We returned with them to New York, on a marriage 
tour. We were in the city, at a hotel, when the start- 



876 WONDERFUL DISCOVEBY. 

liDg revelation was made which rendered our future 
course perfectly clear. Previous to the development, 
Helen had related to me a somewhat remarkable vision, 
or dream. She said that a good and benevolent looking 
man came to her, and laid his hand upon her head in 
benediction. His eyes were blue, and looked spiritual 
and holy, as they were fixed upon her. A smile full 
of sweetness and satisfaction played upon his benignant 
face. 

He said, " Do you remember me ? " 

" I have a faint recollection of you," she answered; 
" I saw you when I was a little child." 

"Who am I?" 

"My father! But you have long been dead, and I 
had forgotten you ! " 

" I am your father, my child ! And your mother,— 
would you know of her ? " 

" My mother ! Where is she — with the living or the 
dead?" 

" She lives, my child, and mourns thy loss ! Go and 
comfort her ! " 

"Mourns for me? 0, tell me where she is, that I 
may fly to her arms, and gladden her heart by the sight 
of her child!" 

" Thy prayer shall be granted ! Follow me ! " 

" He led me into the next room, and pointed me to a 
pale and sickly looking man, who lay, in a disturbed 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 37T 

slumber, upon the bed. I looked at him attentively, and 
I saw that it was the melancholy invalid whom we had 
met at table, and had seen going in and out of the next 
room. He who had seemed my father said, ' Be like a 
child to him, and he shall direct thee to thy mother ! ' 
I was about to ask her name, when I awoke." 

This dream made a deep impression upon Helen. She 
said she had often doubted whether those whom she 
had regarded as her parents were really so. She never 
recollected of having that love which a child should feel 
for a parent. And sometimes dim and confused thoughts 
had come crowding upon her, the cause of which she had 
sought for in vain. They ever ran upon one subject, — 
a country home, and a lady who seemed very near and 
dear to her. I tried to persuade her that it was because 
her parents had not treated her kindly ; and, after placing 
her at Deacon Webber's, had apparently forgotten her. 

" You are mistaken," she said; "for when I awoke 
from my dream I immediately travelled back in thought 
to the time when I was a little child, before I lived 
with Mr. Means; and I then lived with a dear, good 
woman, who was my mother. I am sure that it was in 
the country; I can see the spot now. And, unless I 
have had a previous existence, according to the faith of 
some, and had such a home then, it was my home in my 
early childhood ! " 

32* 



378 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

"Well, Helen," I replied, "as we are to start for 
home to-day, what can you do for the sick man 7 " 

" We must not go to-day ; I dare not ! Do stay one 
day more ! " 

" It shall be as you say ; and a week, if you wish." 

In the afternoon the sick man was taken bleeding at 
the lungs. The hemorrhage was so severe that a phy- 
sician who was called said he could not live but a few days, 
at most. I knew that he was a stranger, and I readily 
assented to Helen's request, that she should be his nurse. 
She attended him with all the faithfulness of a wife or 
daughter, and his gratitude was unbounded. Three days 
after the hemorrhage had been checked, and, as he had 
recovered somewhat from the exhaustion which it caused, 
he expressed a desire to see me alone. With my curi- 
osity very much excited, I obeyed the summons. 

I found him propped up with pillows, and looking pale 
and ghastly. He addressed me thus : 

"I have learned, from your inestimable lady, that 

your name is Henri Eaton, and that you are from , 

Mass." 

I nodded assent. 

" I feel," he continued, " that I have not long to live; 
and I wish to confide a sacred trust to you. Are you 
willing to accept it ? " 

" I am." 

" My name is Edgar Austin. I have neither father, 



i 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 879 

mother, brother, sister, wife or child, living. Ton see I 
am alone in the world ; and, therefore, I doubly appre- 
ciate the kindness which you and your lady have shown 
me. I once had a brother. He was older than I, and 
of an overbearing, jealous disposition. He was passion- 
ate and unforgiving. Such was his treatment of me, 
that I had but little love for him, and seldom visited 
him. Some fifteen years since, as I had not seen him 
for four years, and as he had married in the time, I re- 
solved to pay hiih a visit. Not knowing what the recep- 
tion might be, — for we had parted in anger, — I left my 
horse at the tavern, about a mile from my brother's, and 
went the rest of die way on foot. In order to shorten 
the distance, I concluded to leave the road, and pass 
through a piece of woodland near my brother's house. I 
had gone about half-way through, when I discovered, a 
few rods from me, a man and a little girl. I stopped, to 
learn if the man was not my brother. In a moment I 
was satisfied that it was he ; but judge of my surprise 
and horror, to see him pick up a stone, and strike the 
little girl upon the head, which laid her bleeding at his 
feet ! The monster then knelt down to see if she breathed, 
laid his hand upon her heart, and felt of her pulse. He 
then threw her into a hole some three feet deep, which 
had the appearance of having been dug some months 
before. He now set to work gathering leaves, and pieces 
of rotten wood, which he threw on to her. 



880 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY, 

" So astounded was I to behold him commit such an 
atrocious deed, that the moment he struck the blow I 
was half paralyzed, so that I did not move. But, had 
he offered to strike her again, I think I should have 
thrown off my paralysis, and rushed to her rescue. But 
a moment's reflection taught me that to keep still would 
. be the surest way to save the child. I knew that, if I 
met my brother then, a deadly encounter would be the 
result ; and, as he was much the stronger, I was fearful 
that I should be overcome, and to save himself he would 
take my life. 

" When the wretch had completely covered her over, 
he ran, with great speed, towards his house. When I 
could no longer hear the sound of his heavy footsteps, I 
lost not a moment in hastening to where the child lay, 
and removing the rubbish that covered her. Poor little 
thing ! how still she lay, and how pale and bloody she 
was ! for the blood was still running from the deep gash 
upon her head. 

" Having travelled much, and been an invalid for 
years, I had paid some attention to medicine, and never 
went any distance without carrying some with me. I 
had some drops in my pocket, which I applied to her 
nose and mouth. While thus employed I heard foot- 
steps, and I rightly surmised that the murderer was 
returning. As quick as thought I snatched her up, and 
darted into some thick bushes near by, resolved to fight 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 881 

the monster, if he discovered me. It was a relief to see 
him commence throwing in the loose gravel, — for he 
brought a spade with him, — without looking into the 
grave. In a brief space he filled up the hole, then lev- 
elled it down, and trod upon it with his feet. He then 
brought leaves, and decayed vegetable matter, and spread 
upon the spot, making the ground to look as though it 
had not lately been stirred. During this time, although 
he worked in great haste, he would frequently stop 
and listen, and, with a half-frightened look, gaze in 
every direction, as though he was fearful some one was 
approaching. When, as he thought, he had fully accom- 
plished his diabolical purpose, he returned home. 

" I was now determined to restore the child to life, if 
possible. I poured the drops into her mouth, chafed her 
hands, face and stomach, and used every means in my 
power to restore her. In a brief period I was repaid a 
thousand times, by beholding signs of returning anima- 
tion. She soon began to moan piteously ; but, removing 
her still further from the hated spot, and from the house 
of my brother, lest he might hear her, I laid her down 
by the side of a little creek, and washed the blood from 
her head and face, and tied up the wound with my hand- 
kerchief. I then soothed her to sleep. It was now 
quite dark ; and I took her in my arms, and carried her 
beyond the hotel, and laid her down in a field, near the 
road. I tken hastily returned for my horse, rode to 



882 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

■where I had left the child, took her in, and drove rapidly 
away. 

" I now began to ask myself, seriously, what I should 
do with the child. Some fifteen miles from where I 
then was lived a surgeon, with whom I was intimately 
Acquainted. I resolved to drive to his house with all 
speed ; for I thought the wound should be dressed with 
as little delay as possible. I was so fortunate as to find 
him at home. I told him that I had a little girl with 
me who had fallen out of the chaise and hurt her head 
badly, but I hoped not fatally. He examined her wound, 
and dressed it, and said there was no danger if it was 
properly attended to. I remained there three days, 
when, with his consent, I carried the little girl to Boston, 
and, in a short time, her wound was perfectly healed. 

" It was my desire, now, to restore the child to her 
parents, if I could find them j but I did not wish to en- 
danger the life and liberty of my brother, for I feared 
the disgrace. It might be possible that she had lived 
with him, he having taken her from the poor-house, or 
from some destitute family ; or, perchance, she was a child 
of shame, and, possibly, his own. I met with one diffi- 
culty which I had not anticipated. When I asked the 
little girl her name, she could not tell me. She seemed 
to try to think, but, after a while, burst into tears. The 
blow upon her head had affected her memory. I then 
resolved to visit the neighborhood where my brother 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 888 

resided, and, if any little child was missing, restore her 
to the parents, and invent some story in relation to her, 
so as to shield myself and brother. But, as I was about 
to start on a foreign tour, and the ship being unexpectedly 
ready to sail, I could not go without much inconvenience 
and expense. I then procured a place for her with a 
poor family, where she could board cheap ; and, paying for 
her board for one year, set sail for Liverpool. It so 
happened that business detained me a number of years ; 
but I continued to make remittances, from year to year, 
for the support of the child, until I returned to Boston. 
When I did return, the family was not to be found, and 
I have sought in vain to trace them. 

"I now feel that it was an unpardonable offence in 
consenting to leave Boston, on any consideration, without 
making an effort to find her parents. You live in the 
town adjoining where my brother resided. I am ex- 
tremely anxious that the girl, if living, should be found. 
I have property to the amount of seven thousand five 
hundred dollars, which I shall give to her. The whole 
business I must intrust in your hands, and I will make 
ample provision for your trouble and expense. Five hun- 
dred dollars out of my estate I have reserved for that pur- 
pose, with a provision in the will that more shall be used, 
if required. You must first learn who were her parents, 
and then advertise for her until you find her. I should 
have done it, ere now, but one of my most fatal propensities 



884 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

was to pat off sacred duties to a more convenient season. 
By giving way to this feeling, I have lost many opportu- 
nities of doing good, and have left a burden upon my own 
heart which now I am little able to bear. My brother is 
dead, and I have never been to the town where he lived 
since I learned that in his heart he was a murderer ! " 

" Your story," I remarked, " is a strange one," hardly 
able to suppress my agitation. " Did you give the child 
a name?" 

" No, for I thought that in a short time her memory 
might be restored to her ; and I left orders that, if she 
ever told her name, search should be made for her 
parents, and she restored to them. But Means was a 
poor, shiftless fellow." 

" Means, did you say ? " 

" Yes, that was the name of the family where I placed 
her to board." 

" It is she ! " I exclaimed, without being aware that I 
was thinking aloud. "It is my Helen! God be 
thanked!" 

" What are you talking about ? " he inquired, raising 
his head, quickly. "Of whom do you speak? What 
Helen do you refer to ? " 

" Calm yourself, my dear sir," I replied, far from 
being in that state myself. " I have good reasons for 
believing that the lost child and my wife are the same." 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 385 

cc Impossible ! What proof have you, sir? For God's 
sake tell me! " 

" I beg of you to be calm, or I cannot proceed. Too 
much excitement may cause death immediately." 

" Well, you are right. I will be calm ; only give me 
the proof, which you should have, before making such a 
statement to a dying man. Unless you give me such 
proof, I shall believe you a villain, seeking, by false pre- 
tensions, to get into your possession the property I have 
given to another." 

"You are suspicious of me, sir; but I pardon you. 
Listen patiently, and you shall know all." 

I gave him a clear, simple and distinct account of all 
the facts in the case. These facts the reader is already 
acquainted with, but I will briefly allude to them. Mrs. 
Stewart lived near the brother of the sick man, and her 
little girl mysteriously disappeared ; and, a few months 
afterwards, this brother confessed that he was her mur- 
derer. Helen Means had lived in Boston, with her 
parents, as she supposed, previous to living with Deacon 
Webber. The night on which Helen came to my moth- 
er's, dressed in a suit of my clothes, Mrs. Stewart was 
much agitated when Helen gave her a grateful look for 
the kind words, she had spoken to her. Once or twice 
afterwards the same thing had occurred. Many doubts 
had crept into the mind of Helen in relation to her 
parents, and her thoughts went beyond her home in Bos- 
33 



386 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

ton, to a pleasant little home in the country. Mr. Aus- 
tin, our sick friend, saw his brother strike the child, and 
throw her into a hole intended for her grave. But he 
saved her, restored her to life, and placed her to board 
with a family by the name of Means. With this chain 
of facts there was no room for doubt. When I had 
finished, he exclaimed, 

11 God be praised ! The proof is as clear as light. 
Now I can die in peace. The mother will again embrace 
her long-lost child, and my property will be amply suf- 
ficient to make her old age cheerful ; and I shall atone, 
in a measure, for the wrong I have done." 

" You must remember, my dear sir, that you saved 
the life of the noble being who is now my wife." 

"I do remember it; but I only did my duty, and 
that does not justify my neglect of duty afterwards." 

" It will be well to let that pass out of your mind. We 
all owe you very much. Helen was restored to life by 
you, and she is unconsciously doing something to repay 
ij^^Lebt she owes you, by smoothing your way to the 

"^ "She has been very kind, and it brings consola- 
tion to my heart; for it seems as though God had sent her 
to me to solace my last hours, and assure me of forgive- 



" A beautiful thought, and I am glad that it has come 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 887 

to you ; for it will do you good. She must seem like a 
dear child to you." 

" You are very good. I do not doubt what you have 
told me, sir ; but I wish to see your wife alone." 

In accordance with his wishes, I rang for Helen, and 
when she came I left the room. I was recalled in the 
course of half an hour. I found Helen's face streaming 
with tears, and yet its expression was the most thankflil, 
heavenly and beautiful, that I ever witnessed. It seemed 
like a transfiguration, it was so glorious. The sick man 
gazed upon her as though she had been an angel sent 
from heaven to guide him through the valley of the 
shadow of death. 

Helen rejoiced to learn that Mrs. Stewart was her 
mother, for she knew that the knowledge of the feet 
would be heaven to her ; and then she loved her so well, 
and could now love her still more dearly. She was thank- 
ful that it had been so ordered that she should be with 
her preserver in his last hours, to hear the truth from 
his own lips, and smooth, with loving hands, the bed of 
sickness and death. She wept that she must part with 
him so soon, but they were tears of reconciliation. 

It was beautiful to witness the mutual faith and trust 
which were now manifested. He called her his child — 
his dear child — and wanted her ever near him. She 
anticipated every want, and held him by the hand, and 



888 WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 

gently chafed his forehead, and addressed to him words 
of affection and filial endearment. 

" Shall I bathe your head, father ? " she would ask. 

"Yes, dear child," would be the reply. 

And so it was, all day long, and all night long, 
except when he slept, or she absented herself for a brief 
repose. 

After lingering for a few days, he slept the sleep of 
death, closing his 'eyes in holy calmness, and bidding us 
an affectionate farewell. 

" 0, Lelia ! " said he; " sweet and angelic has been 
your care for me, and on the wings of your beautiful and 
heavenly love shall my soul be lifted to God! " 

At our request, the families v of Mr. Dinneford and Mr. 
Brown united with us in the last sad offices of respect 
and love. We followed him to his grave, and stood over 
it and wept ; and when we retraced o\*r steps there were 
tears in our eyes, but smiles in our hearts. 

We remained in New; York a few days longer, keeping 
perfectly quiet^ that Helen might recruit her wasted 
energies ; and then, with chastened feelings and a larger 
faith, we started for home. 

Mrs. Stewart received us with the most endearing affec- 
tion ; and, after embracing us both, she said, 

"I hope, my dear children, that you have now 
decided to make this your home." 

" Yes, dear mother," I answered, " we have. We 



) 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 889 

shall gladly live with you, and beautiful shall be your 
life with us." 

I uttered these words with the greatest difficulty, and 
Helen trembled like a leaf, and she leaned heavily upon 
me for support, and the tears fell rapidly which she 
struggled in vain to suppress. She would have sprang 
into her mother's arms, but I gently restrained her. 

"Thank you, my dear boy; and is Helen willing 
to live here with me? She is weeping ; — is it for joy 
or grief?" 

" For joy ! — only for joy ; for our Lelia is very glad 
to have such a sweet, sweet home as this." 

"Lelia! Lelia! 0, gracious Father! But you 
made a mistake, Henri, for Lelia is in heaven." 

I could restrain her no longer. She sprang from my 
arms, and folded her mother to her heart, exclaiming, 

" Mother ! my own mother ! Your child ! Tour own 
child ! — Your own lost Lelia ! " 

Mrs. Stewart clasped her arms around her child, and 
held her tightly for a moment, and then her hands 
dropped, her face grew white as death, and she would 
have fallen, if I had not caught her in my arms; for 
Helen was too much weakened by the feelings and 
emotions which shook her frame like a reed. 

In a brief period, by the application of proper remedies, 
she was restored to consciousness. Helen was bending 
over her when she opened her eyes. As weak as she 
33* 



S90 WONPKBFUL DISCOVERY. 

was, she flung her arms around her neck, and kissed her 
passionately, exclaiming, 

" You are my Leha ! I know you are ! But, how can 
it be 1 But those eyes ! hair ! expression ! God be 
praised ! 0, my child ! what a world of happiness you 
bring to this long desolate heart ! Henri, my son, come 
and tell me all, — tell me how you learned that Helen 
Means was my own dear child 1 " 

I gladly complied with her request ; and when I had 
finished the strange narrative, she said, " It must be so! 
The lost is found ! The dead is alive again ! God bless 
you, my dear children ! What moments, hours, days 
and years of suffering, have I endured ! But this hour 
repays it all. With my own dear ones shall I pass tri? 
umphantly and hopefully to my grave ! " 

"You may expect to see many happy years ere that 
sad hour shall come/' I remarked. 

" Blessed years, with your children to comfort you, 
my mother," said Helen. 

" Ah ! yes, most blessed. I have ever loved you both, 
but I knew not how near and dear you would one day 
become. But this is too much joy for me. I would 
share it with all the world, and then my heart would be 
full. Send for all of our friends, and let us rejoice 
together." 

In accordance with her suggestion, we sent invita- 
tions to all of our relatives and friends. They came, — 



i 



WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. 891 

our brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, friends and 
neighbors. After we had partaken of a sumptuous din- 
ner, I gave them the strange narrative. When I had 
concluded, surprise and wonder were depicted upon every 
countenance. Expressions like these were heard : " Won- 
derful ! " "A miracle ! " " Stranger than fiction ! ? 
1 l If the proof were not so positive, I could not believe it ! ' ' 
Then followed showers of congratulations, and a spirit of 
subdued joy beamed from every face. We were all 
happy, and the feint light in the east showed that another 
day was about to dawn upon the world ere pur guests 
had retired or departed for their homes. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE WEBBER FAMILY. 

A decided sensation was produced in our little coun- 
try town when it became known that my beautiful and 
accomplished bride was the daughter of Mrs. Stewart, 
and that she was the little pale-faced, ragged child, who 
once lived with Deacon Webber. These two facts would 
have furnished abundant material for conversation ; but, 
adding to them the other facts, it seemed so much like a 
highly- wrought romance, that the story was in every- 
body's mouth. The day after our happy gathering of 
friends, Mr. Edgarton went to visit the Webbers. When 
he returned, he came in to inform us of the result. It 
was just after dinner. His face was very red, and there 
was a roguish twinkle in his little round eyes. 

"I have been to see them," said Mr. Edgarton. 

" Been to see who 1 " I inquired. 

" The pious ones, to be sure," he replied, laughing. 

Uncle Eaton joined in the laugh, and said, 

" You old rMjtie you! — I know where you have been." 

" Ha, ha, ha ! 0, what a face he did make up ! " 



THE WEBBER FAMILY. 893 

" Why, who do you mean, Mr. Edgarton ? " asked 
Mrs. Stewart 

" The deacon, to be sure, — who else could it be ? I 
went right away, after breakfast, to tell him the news." 

" What ! — Deacon Webber ? " 

"Yes, Beacon Webber, and the rest of 'em too." 

" Just to vex and irritate them, I suppose," remarked 
Lelia. " That is not exactly right, Mr. Edgarton," 

"Yes 'tis, too; I wanted to see the old gentleman 
grin,— and I did." 

" Rejoice not over an enemy," said Mrs. Stewart. 

" He deserves it, and more too. If he don't get some 
of his punishment in this world, he will have more than 
he can manage in the next." 

" If he gets all he deserves," said L 

" He who lives a false life, false to his God and false 
to his race, suffers every day; his whole life is a bell," 
said my uncle. 

"Right again," said Mr. Edgarton. "I hope the 
deacon won't find any worse hell than he has already 
made for himself." 

" A benevolent wish," said Uncle Eaton, " and wo 
can all unite in it. But let us have your story." 

" I went, in the first place," said Mr. Edgarton, " to 
see Hezekiah Webber. I found him aviding his old 
boots. He sat on his bench, smoking, an exact picture 
of his father twenty years ago. Such a looking house 



394 THE WEBBER FAMILY. 

you never laid your eyes on, and such a looking woman 
and children. The condition of the house was utterly 
indescribable, — dirt and confusion." 

" She is good-natured, of course," remarked my uncle. 

"A regular termagant! I pity the children. And 
Hezekiah has his match. I told the news, and left them 
spitting fire at each other." 

"How was that? "said I. 

"When I told Hezekiah that your wife was the little 
girl that used to live with his father, and that she was 
the daughter of Mrs. Stewart, his wife said that she had 
heard of that little girl, and how they all abused her ; 
and it was just like the Webbers, for they treated every- 
body like savages. Hezekiah was mad in a minute, and 
when I left them they were calling each other all sorts 
of appropriate names." 

" You had better not have gone," said Mrs. Stewart 

" They are used to it, — so it won't hurt them any. 
After I left this interesting couple, I went to pay Job 
a visit ; who, you know, was married a few weeks since. 
I there found she that was Hannah Webber. I suppose 
you have not heard the news about her ? Her husband, 
who was a decent sort of a man when he married her, 
took himself off very suddenly a few days since, and 
about the samtttkie Rose Webber was off too." 

" Worse, and worse," I remarked. 



THE WEBBER FAMILY. 396 

" Just so. Job is the most decent one of the lot, and 
I suppose he may thank you for that." 

"How so?" I asked. 

" Why, didn't you beat it into him? Ha, ha, ha ! " 

" I believe I left my mark on him." 

" So you did, so you did ! 0, you are a smart one, 
only get you fairly started ! Well, Job is none too good, 
but he '11 do. He went out of town, and was gone a 
year or two, and it improved him amazingly ; and the 
wife he brought back with him is quite a woman." 

" Then you should not have gone there," said Lelia. 

"But I wanted to. see her; and what's the good of 
being partial ? I told them the story, and Hannah looked 
anything but comfortable ; and when I had finished she 
said, ' I hope he will get enough of her, for she was a 
little, ugly, dirty thing.' 

" To my great surprise, Job said it was false, and that 
when she lived with his father they all abused her, from 
the oldest to the youngest, excepting his mother. 

" c I am glad to hear you confess the truth,' said his 
wife. 

"At this, Hannah caught her bonnet, and, calling 
them both fools, bolted out of the house, and went 
straight to see her darling brother Hezekiah. 

" After she had gone, Job and his^tfe asked me 
many questions about you, which I answred as well as 
I could. We spoke of the knocking down scrape, and 



896 THE WEBBER FAMILY. 

he said he &d not blame you at all. I then called on 
the deacon. I went in rather suddenly, and I found 
him bending over a pile of gold. I suppose he had been 
counting it. He said he wished people would rap when 
they came in." 

IC How did he look 1 " inquired my uncle. 

"Worse than a beast! His face and hands were 
black with dirt and filth. His face and head have not 
cultivated the acquaintance of a razor or comb for a long 
time, I '11 warrant you." 

" Was he decently clothed 1 " asked Mrs. Stewart. 
* " About as well as he used to clothe your daughter, 
— not a whit better. But the room in which he stays is 
worse than all the rest. I was glad to get out, and 
breathe the fresh air again." 

" You did your errand first, did you not ? " said my 
uncle. 

"Certainly, certainly! I said, c Deacon, I have got 
some news.' 

" < What do I care? ' he growled. 

" * You may care a good deal, after you know what 
it is.' 

11 'After I hear it, I can tell better; so out with it, 
and don't keep me waiting, old soap-tub ! for my time is 
precious.'" Jfc 

When Mr^Sdgarton told this, he burst into a loud 
laugh, in which we all joined. 



THE WBBBBB PAMTLY. 897 

(( A pretty good joke," said my uncle. 

" Very good, very good ! The deacon would like to 
boil me up and make me into soap, I don't doubt. I 
should not wonder if he had formed a pretty correct 
estimate of what the soap would bring ! " 

I suggested to Mr. Edgarton that he would make a 
large quantity. 

" So I should," he said. " Ha, ha ! a very large 
quantity ! But to return to my visit ' You remember 
Henri Eaton, deacon ? ' I remarked. 

" He looked up fiercely and said, 

" ' The villain ! — what of him? ' 

" ' He is married, deacon.' 

"' What's that to me?' 

" ' Nothing in particular, — only he has married that 
little girl -he enticed away from you ; and she is very 
rich, too ! ' 

" ' Gods ! ' he said, ' I wish I had them in my power. 
I 'd make them feel my wrath ! ' 

" I continued. ' She is the daughter of Mrs. Stewart, 
and a gentleman has left them thousands ! ' 

" ' How much 1 ' he inquired, eagerly. 

" * Thousands upon thousands ! ' I replied. 

" c I '11 have it, if there is any law and justice in the 

land ! ' he said, grinding his teeth, and looking wild and 

fierce. i She ran away from me, and he helped her — 

it was a great loss. I lost eight years labor, and I'll 

34 



898 THB WEBBEK FAMILY. 

have the worth in gold, in bright yellow gold, and the 
interest' 

" ' The property was willed to her, you know.' 

" ' I don't care if itwas, — Iwillhaveit! Itwouldhave 
been all mine, if it had not been for that bloody villain, 
that robber. 0, I should like to tear out his eyes ! I '11 
break the will, for she is not the daughter of Mrs. 
Stewart I can prove that she is Means' child.' 

" I then went on to tell him the whole story, when he 
growled and raved still more. He ordered me out of the 
house; and, not wishing to stay any longer, I came 
away." 

" He is a beautiful character," I remarked. 

"Beautiful! so is old clump-foot beautiful. Well, 
well ; the devil will have the picking of his bones, one of 
these days, — that 's some comfort." 

" Why, Mr. Edgarton ! " said my aunt 

1 1 He is a horrid creatur', Mrs. Eaton, and that 's the 
truth. I should like to give him one walloping for his 
abuse of Lelia." 

" Leave him in the hands of his Maker," said Mrs. 
Stewart. " ' Shall not the Lord of all the earth do 
right?'" 

The next morning news came that Beacon Webber 
was crazy. In company with my uncle and Mr. Edgar- 
ton, I went to see him. He had become so raving in the 
night that it was necessary to chain him. After being 



THE WEBBER FAMILY. 

chained, he tore every rag of clothing from his body. I 
have never seen such a hideous, frightful object, as he 
was on that morning. 

" It is mine, all, all mine," he said ; " and I '11 have 
it ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! the white silver and the yellow 
gold is all mine. They thought to rob me of it, did 
they? They can't do it. I'll have it, I'll have it! 
Will they keep it all ? No, no ! by the gods. Justice ! 
justice ! See ! there 's a robber after my gold, — my 
yellow gold. Back ! back with ye, you bloody villain ! 
Let me get hold of him ! I '11 break his bones, tear his 
heart out, and let the swine feast upon his flesh ! Let 
me go! let me go, I say! they are robbing me! 
God ! God ! There ! there they are, stealing all my 
treasures. Stand back! away! I — I — know you 
now. The demons — the black demons — hold me fast ! 
Don't, don't take it all ! I am a. poor old man. I sold 
my soul for my gold; — it 's all I have. You will not 
take it all, good people ? Leave the old man a little ! I 
pray you, — I beg ! I shall starve, if you take it ! Could 
I but break these chains, I 'd tear ye ! Beware, ye 
bloody* fiends ! ! what* is burning at my heart ? 
Hell is in my bosom ! 0, my head ! my head ! Don't 
you see the devils ? Look ! see their red jaws, long 
teeth, and flaming tongues ! How they hiss ! Down 
with ye, damned spirits ! down to hell ! Where is my 
gold? I know; I hid it aU last night. Ha! ha! 



400 THB WEBBBB FAMILY. 

Search, search for it, ye villains ! bat you can't find it, 
— you never can find it Ha! ha! ha! ha! 

" I Tl have him yet. He cannot escape me now. He 
shall not always baulk me. Let him look to it, — look 
to it, — or I '11 tear out his dastard heart ! I '11 bite out 
his eyes ! Don't take it, — the poor old man will starve. 
I shall die! Laugh, ye horrid monsters! Ha! ha! 
ha! ha!" 

In this strain he continued, with scarcely any inter- 
mission ; and before many days had passed away he was a 
corpse. His property amounted to thirty thousand dollars, 
and he had willed it, with the exception of two hundred 
dollars, to Hezekiah and Hanttah. After his death, Mr. 
Edgarton felt some remorse, lest what he said to him had 
been the cause of it But I told him that most likely the 
result would have been the same when the story reached 
him, and I did not doubt but that he was more than half 
crazy before. These suggestions were abundantly satis- 
factory to him, and he was as ready to laugh and joke as 
ever. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

MY FATHER'S DIARY. 

The reader will remember that my mother, on her 
death-bed, requested me to read my father's diary. My 
mind had been so much occupied with other subjects 
that I had hitherto neglected to do so. I took it out of 
the drawer while Uncle and Aunt Eaton were visiting us, 
and, after reading it to myself, at their request read the 
most of it to them. Some brief extracts may not prove 
uninteresting to the reader : 

" It has ever been my boast that I was heart-whole, 
" but I can utter that boast no more. I was fated, to- 
" day, to behold a being of such entrancing beauty that 
" my heart surrendered at once. One glance from those 
" killing black eyes, and it was all over with me ; for I 
" felt as helpless as a captive bird. c Well, Mr. Eaton, 
" what 's to be done now? ' A pertinent question, and 
" Mr. Eaton must answer it I do not know who she is. 
" I do not even know her name, but I will leam it, I 
" make no doubt ; and, what 's more, I '11 learn her heart 
" too, and win it to myself, to be all my own, if so be 
",the gods but aid me." 
84* 



402 MY father's diary. 

* * * * * 

" I am happy and sad to-night ; happy because I have 
" seen the beautiful angel again, and sad lest I should 
" fail to win her. But it must not be so. I '11 study 
" the lexicon of my heart, and, if I find any such word 
" there as/atf, I will expunge it befpre I sleep. Mary 
" Flanders, that 's her name, and ijt is a good name too ; 
"but how would it look changed to Mary Eaton? I. 
" like the latter best. I always did think that Mary was 
" the sweetest name in the universe, and now it is ten 
" thousand times sweeter than eyer. A friend asked me, 
" to-day, if I thought her handsome. Handsome ! she 
" is more than that, for she is perfectly beautiful. Every 
" feature of her face is charming, and her eyes are soul- 
" full of thought, eloquent, and big with hope, light and 
"joy. But her form is enravishing, — full, round, almost 
" voluptuous j but I would not have it other than it is, 
" for it is perfect." 

* * * * . * 

" 0, this suspense is killing, and I cannot endure it ! 
"I must see Mary; — see her, ay, I must know her 
"well. Who is coming to disturb my revery now, I 
" wonder? The intruder is not welcome. A letter, — 
"no, a note; — an invitation to an evening party at 

" Mr. 's. I will go, and may I be so fortunate as to 

" meet her who is so dear to this unquiet heart ! " 
***** 



MY FATHERS DIARY. 406 

" It is nearly morning, and here I am, once more, in 
" my own little room ; but I have no wish to sleep, no 
" inclination, — so I will write. This has been a charming 
" night, and the moon has sWam in the bine ocean above 
" for many pleasant hours. Her light has departed now, 
" for yonder black cloud, rolling up in the west with 
" such dark grandeur, caught her in its huge arms and 
" smothered her out of sight. And Mary was at the 
" party ; all that I prayed for has been granted. We 
" know each other now. I have touched her hand, and, 
" 0, rapture! I have pressed my lips to her downy 
" cheeks and ripe lips^and she has pressed her lips to 
" mine ! Thanks, thanks for the party, or this could not 
"have been. I kissed others, — did IT Bah! but I 
" could not help it I would have kissed a whole army 
"of women, rather than lost those sweet kisses of 
" Mary." 

* # * * # 

" 0, cruel disappointment! thou tellest me I am but 
11 mortal. With a friend I called on Mr. Flanders to- 
" day, but I did not see Mary ; she, alas ! was far away, 
" fifty miles from home, at school. Delays are danger- 
"ous, I do believe, for I should have gone before. 

"What shall I do now?" 

# * # * * 

" The skies look brighter to-night, for I have had an 
" encouraging word from Mary's father. I (tolled, and 



404 MT father's diary. 



i shown into his study ; and, after discussing politics, 
" the weather, and various other things, in which I fell 
" into most ludicrous mistakes, I made bold to speak of 
"Mary. He seemed deeply interested^ and talked in 
"such a way as to encourage me to tell him what my 
"sentiments were. He said that he conceived it an 
"honor, and hoped I might win his daughter's heart 
"and hand, for I had his sanction and best wishes. 

" ' You met at Mr. 's party. She spoke of you so 

"often afterwards, that we all told her she was in 
" love with you ; and I doubt not she was well pleased 
" with your appearance.' Mr. Flanders invited me to 
" call again soon. I shall go." 

* - * * * * 

"I have once more seen the father of my darling 
" Mary ; for I feel that she is mine now, or nearly so. 
" Mr. Flanders says that Mary loves me, but he wishes 
" the matter should be left where it is, until she returns 
"from school; for, if I should write or visit her, 
"he is fearful that her schooling will do her but 
"little good. She would be thinking of me, and not 
" of her books. Bless her, I hope she will think of 
" me ! 0, how enrapturing, to engage all the thoughts 
" of such a glorious being ! I have promised to comply 
" with the wishes of Mr. Flanders. But, in the mean 
"time, what shall I do? I cannot stay here, for this 
" ennui is awful, — so I am off." 



MY father's diary. > 405 

* .# * * * 

" It was late last night when I returned from my 
' journey, and so I could not see the one whom I dearly 
1 love. I had bqf just laid my head upon my pillow, when 
1 the wind began to blow — not loud and clear, like that 
'* of the West, which goes on its way with such a grand 
' sweep, making all the proud old treas do it reverence 
' as it passes by ; but it had an unpleasant moan, and 
' sometimes it sobbed as if it had known the bitterness of 
' great grief. The sounds went to my heart, and caused 
'it to feel strangely sad; as though some calamity 
' was about to draw near, and touch my hopes with the 
( poison of its lips. Is it superstition, or has the wind a 
1 spirit which warns Us of approaching griefs and disap- 
1 pointmentB ? I know not, but I feel disappointment 
' to-night. I went this afternoon, with a light heart, 
c to visit her who will one day be all my own. To my 
' surprise, I learned that she had been at home some 
months. But how she has changed since I saw her ! 
1 What can be the cause of it ? She h pale and listless, 
' and her face has lost the sprightly, joyous expression. 
* I fear she has studied too much. Overtax the brain, 
' and the roses will leave the cheek, and the brightest 
' eye grow dull. But she seemed not pleased to see me. 
'Has her nature lost all its glad enthusiasm, — its 

' up-springing, buoyant life ? I hope not ! " 

* * * * * 



cc 



406 my father's diary. 

" We are to marry, — and yet I am not happy . There 
" moat be trouble, somewhere, and I wish I could learn 
" where and what it is. The sky is cloudy, and tie 
"grief-rain is falling; and will the fyw of promise 

come out? Hove her — love her dearly; but, does 
" she love me ? Shall the golden light of mutual joy 
" ever gladden our way ? There is a bright star looking 
"down sweetly at me; — is it an omen of good? Alas! 
" the clouds have shut it from my sight, and again the 
" wind sobs as it did on the first night of my return. 
" 0, my God ! grant me but this, that when Mary is all 

" my own, she shall smile again as of yore ! " 

# * * * * 

"Mary is a wife now — my wife, — but we are not 
" happy ; and my heart, instead of brimming with joy 
" to-night, is aching with hopes once so fresh and glad, 
" but now withering for the grave. Only one week, ' one 
" little ' week, since we married; and yet, 0, horror ! I 
" almost regret that she is mine. Two or three languid, 
"miserable smiles, is all the sunshine I have known 
"since I led her, with loving hands and a faithful 
"heart, to the altar. She is irritable and unhappy, 

" and I Travel and excitement may produce a 

" change, and bring back the color to her cheeks, and a 
" smile to her eyes. 0, I would give worlds to see her 
" once more as she was on that heavenly night when I 
" first* pressed my lips to her beautiful cheek ! 



M* father's diary. 407 

" Bright summer glories are all around me, and the 
" day is clear, balmy and serene. There was a time 
" when I should have been happy, most happy, on a day 
" like this. But 0, I am not happy now, and I may 
" never be again ; for the bright angel of hope comes not 
" now to make her home in my heart ! I could not 
" have believed, upon my wedding-day, that in two 
" short months — short, have I said? — I should be the 
" poor wretch that I am. Mary is not only unhappy 
"herself, but she is very unkind; and sometimes she 
" says things to me that I would bear from no other 
" living being. I have done all that I could to gratify 
" her. We have visited many interesting places. We 
" have stood by the sea-side, and viewed the blue expanse 
" of waters, and heard the great hymn of the waves, and 
" saw them dash upon the shore as though they would 
" break through the battlements of God ! We have seen 
" the mountains, whose snowy summits were capped with 
" clouds ; and we have stood upon their highest peaks, 
" and heard the wind rush down their sides, the thunders 
"rumble and roar, while the lightning leaped from the 
" dark threatening masses above and around us, and 
" covered the mountains with red sheets of flame. We 
" have seen Niagara, the wonder of the world; her wil^, 
" madly-dashing waters, her billows of foam, her clouds 
" of mist and spray, and her rainbows, which seemed like 
" water-spirits dropped down from the clouds. We heard 



408 my FAraia'a diaHy. 

"the mighty cataract, and almost fancied we saw the J 
(( lightnings, when the falling waters flashed in tie sun- ) 
"light Bat, merciful God! all has been in vain. j 
" I have entreated Mary to tell me why she is not happy; | 
" but she will not open her lips." 

* * * * * 

" Gold winter is rapidly approaching. Alas ! the win- 
"ter of the heart has already come, cruelly blighting 
" fresh-budding hopes, cutting down all the flowers of 
" life, filling the air with frost and snow, and desolating 
" the world ! Life has become a burden, for all the 
" leaping fountains of pleasure are fettered with the 
" chains of cold and frost Happiness has been stabbed 
" at the heart, and she lays low in the dust, bleeding, 
" dying; and the freezing winds are howling around her, 
" shrieking her requiem." 

****** 

" What a dream of bliss was mine ! 0, God ! that I 
"was doomed to awake to such horrors. Peace, poor 
" heart and murmur not, but hope yet. Yea, I will hope. 
" There must be a change for the better. Mary will yet 
"love me. When a mother^ hopes and*joys are hers, 
" her heart must soften." 

* * * * * 

" What would be winter with no expectation of gentle 
"spring? Should we not despair? Such is my lot, 
"for Mary dearly loves her bright-eyed boy, but 



\ 



my father's mart. 409 

" there is Utile love for me. He is a beautiful child, 
" and I have given him the name of my only brother. 
" May his heart be as noble and good ! " 

* * * # # 

" Many years have rolled away, and journeyed fiur into 
" the past, since my wedding-day, — a day so big with 
" hope. I remember, as though it had been but yester- 
" day. It was when the hills and valleys were spread 
" over with the freshness and beauty of spring, and my 
" heart was light and joyous, almost perfect in its happi- 
" ness. A few sunny smiles would have made it so. I 
" then thought I had but just commenced life. Every 
" eye seemed to rest upon my lovely bride in admiration. 
" Alas ! she had no teauty of the heart. We have now 
"four children; and the last, a beautiful boy, I have 
" named for myself. This does not please his mother. 
" She Wanted his name Herbert, but I would have one 
"child who should bear my own name. Herbert is a 
" name which will do well enough ; but I see no reason 
" why she should have insisted upon his having the name. 
11 If she had a friend or relative by the name of Herbert, 
" I shoaild not think so strange of it." 

# "# * * * 

." What a marvellous thing is this life of ours ! Who 

" can solve its mysteries? Why is it that so many should 

"groan in poverty, doomed to unremitting toil for a 

"pittance so small that it barely keeps soul and body 

35 



410 my father's diary. 

" from parting company ? Why is it that a portion of 
"mankind should live in idle extravagance and waste? 
" Why are we doomed to misfortune, sickness, and the 
" thousand ills that flesh is heir to? Such thoughts will 
" come crowding upon me at times ; and then I should 
" fell under the weight of my sorrows, if my faith in an 
"over-ruling Power was not strong and unwavering. 
" He who permitted evil and suffering to enter the world 
" will ultimately over-rule them all for good. Let me 
" believe this, and my heart shall still find rest. That I 
" must continue to suffer, I well know ; but it would seem 
" that I should be happy. I have an abundance of what 
" are called the good things of this world, and a wife and 
" four beautiful children. Why should I not be happy? 
" There is but one thing lacking. I was made to love 
" and to be loved. If Mary loved me truly, and was 
" ever kind to me and faithful to her children, fulness 
"of joy would be mine. I had anticipated so much 
" happiness in the married state, that the cruel disap- 
"pointment is grievous to be borne. 0, God! give 
"me patience, to bear without a murmur my heavy 
"burden of grief." 

* * * * * 

" I regret that our ideas of governing children are so 
"different. I would never strike them a blow. Such 
" punishment is degrading, and should be banished from 
" the world. Henri is not a favorite with his mother, 



MY FATHER'S DIABY. 411 

"and, on that account, I fear he receives more whip* 
" pingg &an he otherwise would." 

***** 

" * ^Trouble, trouble, 

" Fire born and cauldron bubble.' 

" I do not like to quarrel and wrangle ; and yet I can- 
" not always avoid it My wife has just been whipping 
"Henri, very severely, for a most trivial offence. I 
" demanded the cause of such harsh treatment, and she 
" told me to attend to my own business, and she would 
" take care of hers. She intended to be mistress in the 
" house, and she had no objection to my being master out 
"of it 

" t It will do no good to whip a child so young,' I said. 

" l He is my child,' she replied, ' as much as yours ; 
" and I will whip him when I think he deserves it ! ' 

" ' But you are too severe, and you will ruin him for- 
" ever, and drive all the love from his heart.' 

" ' He shall mind me, or I will whip him till the blood 
" runs ! ' 

" These words, and the manner in which she uttered 

" them, made me angry, and I said, * By , you 

"shan't!' 

" ' So help me God, I will ! ' she replied. 

" ' You abuse him, Mary, and you know you do. If 



412 MY fathee's diaet. f 

" you corrected him as a parent should, I would be the I 
" last one to interfere.' I 

" ' He is the most irritating and the worst-tempered J 
" boy I ever saw ; and, when I think that a whipping | 
" will do him good, he will be pretty sure to get it, in 
" spite of your prohibition. 1 

" ' Be careful, Mary, or you may go beyond the 
" bounds of endurance. You know, as well as I do, that 
" Henri is a noble boy, for one so young. If he has a 
" quick, passionate temper, such treatment as he receives 
" at your hands will only make it worse and worse every 
" day. How can you be so cruel to your own child? ' 

" ' I am all to blame for his bad temper, of course. 
" He has your disposition, and that is enough to wear 
11 any one to the grave. I wonder that I have lived so 
"long!' 

11 * So do I, Mary. We live a most miserable life, — 
" and who is the cause -of it ? ' 

" ' Of course, I am the whole cause of it ! That is the 
" way with you men, — the women are all to blame.' 

" * Ask your own heart' 

" ' I shall not trouble myself' 

"<0, Mary!' 

" { If you are about* to faint, I '11 run for the camphor.' 

" Such scenes are not unfrequent in our home ; and so 
" peace and happiness have sought in vain to take up 
" their abode with us. God knows that I hate these matri- 



i 



MY father's diary. 413 

"monial conflicts. I witnessed some before I was mar- 
" ried; but I little dreamed that I should ever be doomed 
" to take part in them. Henri is a smart, high-spirited 
" boy ; and, as his mother does not manifest so much love 
" and forbearance for him as for the other children, he is 
" the cause of the most of our bickerings. I did not wish 
" to have more affection for one child than for another ; 
" but I know well enough that I love Henri best As 
" his mother does not treat him so well as she should, his 
"brothers and sisters seem to think they have the same 
" privilege ;* and the evil has doubly increased since the 
" birth of George. I fear that Henri's disposition will 
" be entirely spoiled. If he is not used well, he is ever 
" ready to fight, whether his opponent is great or small. 
" I tremble to think what he may be led to do, in a 
" moment of passion, should he live to be a man ! 

" Mary is one of the strangest women I ever met with. 
" She has manifested but little affection for me, since she 
"became my wife. A few times she has seemed to 
" relent, — the love-star would glimmer for a moment, 
" and then go out in three-fold darkness. When she has 
" given me but a single ray of love, I have felt that, 
" would it but continue to shine on, I could forget and 
11 forgive all. Why did she marry me, if she had no love 
" in her heart? I imagine, sometimes, that there is a 
" hidden cause for this strange conduct ; but what it is 
" I have sought in vain to learn. I have watched her 
35* 



414 my father's diaby, 

"when she seemed in deep and painful thought; for 
"she sat in an abstracted mood, and the tears rolled 
" down her cheeks, which dtill retain much of the beauty 
" they possessed when she first won my love. I fancy, 
" at times, that she is deranged* Would to God I could 
" believe it ! But no, — or if it * be madness, yet there 's 
" method in it.' 

" Well, well ! repining will do no good; so I will try 
" to suffer on, without murmuring. My life is not in 
" vain ; for I sometimes visit the suffering, and feed the 
" hungry, and clothe the naked. I have done it to-day. 
" A poor drunkard's family was in the greatest distress, 
" and it did my heart good to relieve it. How thankful 
" they were ! It is a luxury to do good. ' More blessed 
" to give than to receive.' 

" Heaven has sent us another child, and his name is 
" Herbert. I wished to call him William, after an old 
"friend; but I had my way once before, and so his 
" mother has her way now. But why is she so tenacious 
" about it? I suppose I fahall learn the season when I 
" learn a great many other things more mysterious than 
"this." 

* * * # * 

" Trouble and grief have at last done their work, and 
" now I must die. Consumption has poisoned the very 
" fountain of life, and there is no hope. It has already 
" deceived me too often. Health and strength will never 



inr msnta dblbt. 415 

" come again. Such is life, aid I am reconciled; My 
" wife is a little more kind, but she loves me not; but may 
" God pardon her as freely as I do ! I must leave seven 
"children, with no one to guide them aright I am 
" wrong ; Mrs. Stewart has premised to be a mother to 
" them, — bear and forbear, — and she will be faithful to 
" her word. She has done much for my children now ; 
' "and her influence with Henri is great, and he dearly 
" loves her. I would that there was more r union among 
" the children, but wishes are vain, I have never seen a 
" stronger love between brothers than there is between 
"Henri and Herbert This feet seems to vex their 
" mother not a little, which is another mystery." 

" I must leave them all in the hands of God, trusting 
" that all things shall come out well at last My wife 
" has made me one solemn promise, for which I thank 
" her. Mrs. Stewart is to continue to reside in the fam- 
"ily until the children shall become men and women. 
" It is hard to leave them ; but the great King demands 
" that another victim shall be offered on his dark altar, 
" and I am ready. I shall depart in peace, trusting in 
" the mercy of God, and in the redeeming grace of Jesus 
" Christ. When I shall have entered the spirit-land, may 
" God grant, even though it bring weary toil and suffer- 
" ing, that I may be allowed to watch over and guard my 
" children ! » 



front the tags 



are 



"7 
he had a good 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 

When our good uncle and aunt had returned to their 
home, Mrs. Stewart, Lelia and myself, were left in quiet 
possession of the dear and pleasant old homestead. I need 
not to inform the reader that life was How peaceful and 
joyous ; for how could it be otherwise? One day, when 
Lelia had run in to see Mr. Edgarton a few minutes, I 
noticed that Mrs. Stewart's face wore a very thoughtful 
expression. 

" You seem to be in a revery," I remarked. 

" I was thinking of old scenes," she replied. 

" I hope your thoughts were pleasant." 

" Yes, dear, more so than they were wont to be in 
days gone by." 

" I am glad of that, deaf mother," I said, bieeling 
down before her, and taking her hands in mine, looking 
up to her face with my heart brim-fall of love and filial 
devotion. 

" God bless you, my dear boy ! " she replied, bending 
down and kissing my cheek, while tears of joy glistened 
in her eyes. 



418 OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 

" He has blessed me, beyond my deserts, in giving me 
such a sweet wile and good mother. You are happy, 
now, I trust" 

" God knows I am, Henri, very, very happy," she 
said, while the tears fell rapidly from her eyes. " I did 
not expect that such blessings would be mine in my old 
age. I thought Lelia was in her grave, and that she 
could not come to me, but I must go to her. Little did 
I think, when I took in the poor, pale-faced boy, and gave 
him a good warm supper, that it was my own child ! 
How glad I am that I always treated children well ! If I 
had not, it might have been my punishment to have 
abused and slighted my own lost one." 

" Your heart was always too merciful to allow you to 
abuse anything." 

"I can almost return the compliment." 

"Not quite." 

" But you have a good heart, Henri ; and you have 
done so much for me ! " 

" Not so much as you have for me." 

" I believe you mistaken there, but we will not quar- 
rel, — I am glad that the obligations are mutual. I have 
cause to be thankful for one thing, which I could not 
reasonably have anticipated, had I known that Lelia was 
living." 

"What is that?" 

" She is as innocent and as pure, and more self- 



OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 419 

sacrificing, than she could have been, had she always 
remained with me." 

" She has passed through the fire, and come out un- 
scathed." 

"There are but few natures that could endure so 
much, and remain pure, innocent, and most loving of 
heart!" 

Here there was a' pause, while I continued to hold her 
hands, and gaze into her face. After sitting in silence 
for a few minutes, she said, 

" There is one thing, Henri, which would gratify me 
very much." 

"What is it?" I inquired. 

" To visit, once more, my old home ! " 

" Do you mean Uncle Eaton's ? " 

" No, Henri ! The home which was mine before my 
husband was taken from me, and where I lived when I 
lost my Lelia ! " 

/'Tour wish shall be granted, mother; and we will 
go to-morrow, if the day is pleasant." 

" You must not tell Lelia of our intentions; for she 
thinks she should know the house, and the scenery 
around it." 

"I will not; for I am as anxious to see what the 
result will be as you are." 

Here Lelia came in; and, seeing my position, she 
knelt down by my side, looking into the face of each 



420 OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 

with worlds of aflection gushing from her sweet blue eyes. 
It was a happy trio, and the purest joy was brimming in 
all our hearts. 

The next morning the son rose dear and golden, mak- 
ing the world glad in its great light. At eight o'clock 
we commenced our short journey. We had bat nine 
miles to go, and the ride was pleasant; for the road was 
good, and the scenery varied and pleasing. Mrs. Stew- 
art informed me, by a sign, when we passed the house 
where Austin, the murderer, had lived. Just beyond 
we came to some woods ; and then Lelia suddenly started, 
and turned very pale. I inquired the cause of her emo- 
tion. She said that strange and indistinct thoughts came 
crowding upon her, as soon as she came in sight of the 
grove. 

"It must have been there," she said, "where the 
monster attempted to take my life I It makes my blood 
run cold to think of it ! " 

We had gone but a little further, when she clapped 
her hands with delight. 

" O, there is my home, — I know it is ! There is 
'the cot wherel was bom!' Isn't it, mother?" pointing 
to a little cottage. 

"Are you sure that is the place?" I inquired. 

" 0, yes, I know it is ! and there is a brook on be* 
yondit!" 

"I don't see it," I replied. 



0&& ACQUAINTANCE. 421 

" You will who* you get to the cottage ! " 

Sure enough, when I stopped the horse in front of the 
house, a bright little stream met my eyes just beyond. 
Mrs. Stewart seemed greatly affected. 

" This waa our ipme, was it not, dear mother ? " said 
Lelia. 

" Yes, my child ! 21 she answered, almost overcome by 
old remembrances, which came thronging upon her. 
Just then we noticed a number of feces at the window. 
Lelia saw them, and, after looking earnestly, inquired 
who they were. 

u I never saw either of them before," said her mother. 
" Have you, Henri V 1 

" I should think not," I replied. 

" Where can I have seen them? " said Lelia. 

" Did you ever see them before? " I inquired. 

"Not all of them. Where could it be ? " 

In the mean time, the people in the house, seeing that 
we were not disposed to go any further, came and opened 
the door. I briefly informed them that the two ladies I 
had with me were mother and daughter, and that they 
lived in the cottage many years ago, and had now come 
to see it qnqe more, The one. who appeared to be the 
mother WW $w& tQ the door, and invited us in. The 
mother and three daughters were binding shoes. Lelia 
kept moving her eyes from one to another of the inmates, 
as if she was puzzled to make out who they were. 
36 



482 OLD ACQUAINTANCE. 

"What is it 1" I asked, in a whisper. 

" I don't know," she said. " It is so strange ! " 

"What isao strange?" 

" I have seen them before, — I know I have ! " 

I turned to the mother, and inquired how long she 
had lived in the cottage. 

" Some eight or ten years," she replied. 

" Where did you live before? " 

She regarded me a moment as though she thought I 
was possessed of a large' share of inquisitiveness, and then 
answered, " In Boston, sir." 

Lelia now looked up, as if a new light had broken in 
upon her. • 

"Tour name?" she said. 

"Means," was the reply. 

I made a signal to Lelia to be silent 

"Did a gentleman ever bring a little girl to your 
house, to get her boarded ? " I inquired. 

"Yes," Replied the woman, looking somewhat guilty. 

" Did he pay you for her board ? " • 

"Yes, sir." 

"For how long?" 

" He sent money every year, for a number of years." 

" Did you not send her away to live with some one ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

"With whom?" 

" Deacon Webber, of ." 



i 



OLD ACQUAIOTAjroB. 428 

"Why did you do that, when her board was paid?" 

" O, sir, I pray your mercy ! It was not my fault; in- 
deed, it was not ! " 

"Whose was it, then?" 

"My husband's." 

"Where is he?" 

" In his grave. He spent the money for drink, and 
he died seven years ago." 

" What did you call the name of the chad?" 

" Helen Means." 

" Did the deacon know that she was not your child? " 

" No." 

" Why did you not tell him? " 

" Mr. Means threatened to kill me, if I told any one. 
After he got so much money, he abused me most shame- 
fully; he was drunk half of his time, both day and 
night I stood in fear of my life." 

" I trust you are telling the truth ! " 

" It is the truth, sir, the solemn truth ! — and I hope 
you will believe me." 

" You appear honest, and I doubt not you are. Have 
you heard from the little girl since she went to live with 
Deacon Webber?" 

" Only once, and then he sent us word that she ran 
away. I have had many unhappy hours thinking of that 
poor child ! " 



484 Otl> ACXHJAIXTAjrCE. 

11 Have yon anything now dot belonged to OecHd 
when she was first brought to your house ? " 

" Yes, a little locket that die wore around her neek, 
eontaining some hair." 

11 Thank God ! " exclaimed Mrs. Stewart; "it wis 
all I had ! " 

"Why did you take it from her neck ?" lasted 

" For fear my husband should sell it for rum." 

" We would see the locket" 

She went into another room, and soon returned, placing 
a gold locket in my hand. 

" la this the one ? " I asked, holding it up. 

" Yea, yes ! " said Mrs. Stewart, taking it, and kiss- 
ing it again and again. 

Mrs. Means and her daughters looked on in sur- 
prise. Here I arose, and, taking Lelia by the hand, 
said, 

" Mrs. Means, this k my wife; and her name was 
owe Helen Mean* i " 

"What! the little girl who lived with us?" 

"The wry earoe. And this," said I, pointing to 
Mi* Stewart, " is bar mother." 

Eaoh member of the family regarded Lelia as though 
greatly astwfahed* She went and kissed them aU, and 
seemed well pleased to see them again. Mrs. Means 
informed us that they left Boston about the time they 
learned that Helen had run away, and that her husband 



OLD AOQUAIOTAHCB. 486 

died soon after. They had lived ever since in the cot-' 
tage, she and her girls binding shoes, and the boys work- 
ing for the neighboring farmers. She had six children; 
two boys, and four girls. Having asked and answered 
all the questions that were desirable on both sides, and 
visited the little creek, and other places of interest, we 
turned our feces homeward. 
86* 



GHAPTEB XXX. 

CONCLUSION. 

That evening, as we sat at the fireside in our happy 
home, talking in relation to the result of our visit, which 
we all regarded as somewhat remarkable, we suddenly 
relapsed into silence. I was the first to speak. 

" I think of buying the cottage," I said, " and making 
a present of it to Mrs. Means." 

" I was thinking of that," said Mrs. Stewart. 

" So was I," said Lelia. " I hope you will, Henri! 
Mrs. Means was always kind to me." 

" How would a few acres of land go with it ? " 

" My own dear husband, it is just like you ! How 
happy it will make them ! " 

" She has had a hard time, all her life, I should think. 
But there is much of the woman about her yet. How 
tidy the house looked ! " 

" I noticed that," said Mrs. Stewart. " Let the cot- 
tage be purchased immediately, and that will save them 
rent through the cold winter, which is near at hand." 

" And the land," said Lelia, " will make labor for the 



I 



OONOMHttOtf. 427 

boys nert summer, and what they raise enable the ftmily 
to get a Hying, without such severe toil" 

"I like the plan," I replied; "and, as we can spare a 
few hundred dollars just aa well as not, the thing Bhall 
be done forthwith." 

Not long after this, I bought the cottage and ten acres 
of good land, and made a present of them to Mrs. Means. 
It relieved her heart of a world of care and anxiety, and 
she felt no longer obliged to teal fifteen hours per day. 
The gratitude of the family can be better imagined than 
described. It is pleasant to do good ; and, could this 
truth be realized, good works and charities would smile 
upon us everywhere, as sweetly as the sunlight of God. 

A number of years have passed away since these 
scenes occurred, and happy years have they been to us. 
Filial, conjugal and parental love, this holy trinity in 
unify, have ever filled our hearts with purest joy, and, 
with their clear, shining light, made glad and beautiful 
our home, brightening, like a ray from heaven, all the 
pathway of life. Our number has increased, for we have 
two. children, a girl and boy; and we think they are 
the sweetest children in the world. When our little girl 
was born, I claimed the right to give her a name ; and so 
I called her Helen Means. Lelia named the boy, who 
is two years younger than Helen, and his name is Henri. 

Mtb. Stewart, our good mother, is attaining unto a 
blessed old age, and she is one of the best and happiest 



428 CONCLUSION. 

old ladies I haVe ever met with. How dearly she Iowa 
little Helen and Henri ! and they think there is nobody 
in the world quite equal to Grandmother Stewart Uncle 
and Aunt Eaton are frequently with us ; and then our fat 
neighbor, Mr. Edgarton, will come in, and they will talk 
over, for the fiftieth time, the life and adventures of 
Henri Eaton and Helen Means; and, in the evening, 
Mr. Edgarton and Mother Stewart amuse themselves 
with a game of backgammon ; or, a few neighbors are 
invited in, and then Lelia, or some one else, will play the 
piano, and we have a social dance; and Mrs. Stewart 
will join in with us, as young and spry as the best 
of us. 
tpl Mr. Edgarton will always insist upon dancing in a 

cotillon, at least once in an evening, with Lelia ; and when 
"grand right and left" is called for, he is sure to 
blunder in such a manner as to produce shouts of laugh- 
ter. The old gentleman will shake his sides, and say it 
does him good and reminds him of old times. 

I should have mentioned before that, on the marriage 
of Thomas and Lizzie, George went to live with Thomas, 
and Lizzie with Jane. They have since married, and I 
am happy to say that all my brothers and sisters are, 
doing well. 

Hezekiah Webber and wife have parted company. 
They quarrelled so much that he was glad to get rid of 
her by the sacrifice of five thousand dollars. He retains 



* 



\ 



CONCLUSION. 429 

all &e children bat the youngest Since this occurred, 
Hezekiah has disposed of all his property in town, and, 
with his sister Hannah, has gone to parts unknown. 
Job is still here, and he and his wife are generally 
respected. 

Hezekiah and Hannah were long since expelled from 
the church which they disgraced ; and I am now satisfied 
that the deacon would not hare remained in the church 
so long, if his true character had been known by a 
majority of its members. Let no one suppose that I 
intend his character as a fair sample of any denomination 
of Christians ; for, although the Pharisee and hypocrite 
may be found with all, so also the good. There are 
Beacon Webbers in too many churches ; but I trust there 
are more like Uncle and Aunt Eaton, and our dear 
Mother Stewart Such good souls as the last three 
are to be found in the church and out of it, and their 
influence is ennobling upon all who come Within its sphere. 
They make the world better and happier. They are 
true Christians, whether they belong to this sect or that, 
or no sect. 

I complain Hot that wolves in sheep's clothing should 
be admitted into the church, but that they should so 
frequently be allowed to remain there, when they are 
known to be wolves. They are wealthy or influential, 
and therefore not to be disturbed. If they wrong a little 



480 OONCLTOIOtf. 

child, or traffic in the bodies and souls of men, the natter 
is passed over as though it wefle of but little consequence. 
When such things are allowed, the brother members 
partake of the guilt. 

There is another grievous fault with many professors,— 
they unite with the strong against the weak ; and it was 
this which so embittered my heart against the church to 
which the deacon belonged. I admit that they might 
have thought the deacon in the right and I in the wrong. 
But they should have- investigated the matter, and so 
have escaped the guilt of wronging the weak, the inno- 
cent and the oppressed. If we allow ourselves to judge 
hastily and unadvisedly, we should not expect to judge 
righteous judgment, and so live to repent of the evil we 
have unintentionally been guilty of. The really good, 
in the church of which the deacon was a member, lived 
to see their error which they committed in justifying 
him, and acknowledged it with sorrow. But the hypo- 
critical "had always known and said that the deacon was 
miserly, pharisaical and wicked;" when the truth was, 
they had not said one word in condemnation of his course, 
but justified it to the fullest extent, until he was caught 
robbing the very church of which he was deacon ; then they 
were horror-struck, for he had committed the sin of sins ! 
They had not learned enough of Christ to know that the 
wrong done to the little child was a thousand times more 



CONCLUSION. 481 

offensive in the sight of God and all good and enlightened 
men. Bat, as the one who suffered the greatest wrong 
freely forgave all who participated in it (she who was 
once called Helen Means), so I, notwithstanding my 
former bitter hatred, as freely pardon. I have learned 
that it is better to love than to hate, to forgive rather 
than seek revenge. 

I need not tell the reader that Lelia is one of the best 
of wives and mothers, a good neighbor, and a faithful 
friend. Her heart is ever brimming with love for both 
friends and foes, and the poor and destitute speak her 
praise in words and* looks of love and gratitude. She is 
a blessed, good woman ; and no other being could so have 
softened and changed my hasty and impetuous nature. 
When I look into the mirror of the past, I am surprised 
to see how many unlovely traits of character I once pos- 
sessed, and I feel that I have reason to be thankful that 
I am now rid of them. Good fortune smiled upon me 
in my younger days, or I should have fared worse than 
I did ; for, as my temper was hasty, violent, and not con- 
trolled by reason, I might have inflicted upon the victims 
of my anger lasting injury; and perchance, though I 
shudder to think of it, have taken the life of a fellow- 
creature. Now my passions are completely under the 
control of principle ; and it was love, faithful and true, 
that did the work. 



482 OOHGLUHION. 

How mighty, how godlike, is low! Many waten 
cannot quench, nor floods drown it. Its mission is en- 
nobling; for it softens, purifies and elevates the human 
heart, even as the son in the heavens melts the snows 
and frosts of winter, breaking his chains of ice, awaking 
wide nature to renewed life, beauty and living joy ! 



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